Jamii Bora Microloan Financing Giving Birth to Eco-Friendly Town in Kenya

Posted on 13 August 2009. Filed under: Development, Environment, Microfinance |

Kenya’s Jamii Bora Trust has teamed up with an American nonprofit group to create Africa’s first ecologically friendly town built with microfinancing. Some 2,500 families are slated to live in Kaputei, near Kenya’s capital of Nairobi. The families, most of who are from slum areas of Nairobi, will be able to purchase these homes with micro loans.

Africa's first ecologically friendly town built with microfinancing
Africa’s first ecologically friendly town built with microfinancing

They are building their future, one brick at a time.

Members of Jamii Bora Trust produce the bricks, tiles and other materials needed to construct what has become a first in Africa.

A town that is virtually self-sustaining, with its own water supply, primary school and other services, built by the poor for the poor.

Kaputei is a 160-hectare plot located 36 kilometers from Nairobi. It will eventually be home to 2,500 families.

By the end of May, some 300 families had already moved into the homes.

A number of families have brought their businesses with them.

The families come primarily from the Nairobi slum of Kibera, said to be Africa’s largest informal settlement. Most people there earn less than one dollar a day and do not have access to electricity and running water.

Jamii Bora
Jamii Bora

Jamii Bora member Jane Ngoiri and her family used to live in Mathare, a slum similar to Kibera.

She says living in a house with several rooms, running water and electricity is a dream come true. “We are talking about [the] kitchen and now I am in my own bedroom, my children are in their own bedroom,” she says, “this is great!”

Kaputei is the brainchild of Jamii Bora Trust, a nationwide microfinance company that gives loans to the poorest of the poor, usually for small-scale businesses.

Members purchasing Kaputei homes receive loans with up to a 10 percent interest rate and up to 15 years’ repayment time. The monthly mortgage is $36, comparable to rents in the slum.

Jamii Bora member Ngoiri says that it makes little difference if people rise out of poverty but are still living in the slum. “If you come out of your house, from your house, outside your house you get flowing sewage. So you do not have different [life] with the person who is saying he is poor and you are saying you are able now. So the first thing we see is that now we have climbed a ladder and we have to change also our living [quarters] so that we can understand how far we have gone,” Bora said.

She says she is confident that her and other children will now not be lured into lives of crime or early motherhood as they might if they continued living in the slum.

Partnering with Jamii Bora Trust is Unitus, a nonprofit microfinance organization based in Seattle, Washington. Its president, Ed Bland, explains how the project fits in with micro-finance. “It is very, very innovative and it shows another element of the rung of a ladder out of poverty. One of the last ones is housing, and really robust housing. So that is what the Kaputei project is,” he said.

Kaputei is designed to be self-sustaining, with its own water and power supply.

Elijah Biamah is an engineer at the University of Nairobi who teamed up with Jamii Bora to design water and sanitation systems.

Waste water in Kaputei is treated and recycled
Waste water in Kaputei is treated and recycled

He gives the example of how waste water in Kaputei is recycled after it has been collected and exposed to ultraviolet light.

“Then that water is now safe – safe that is can be used for flushing the toilets. It can also be recycled and used for irrigating the crops around the homestead without any harmful effects whatsoever,” Biamah said.

Meanwhile, residents such as Ngoiri are turning their houses into homes, looking forward to their new lives away from the slum.

Source: VOA


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42 Responses to “Jamii Bora Microloan Financing Giving Birth to Eco-Friendly Town in Kenya”

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i’d like to know how one can join jamii bora. please do send me some details in my email address. thank you

ilove the idear .Good and gives hope for the future.

i would like to join the jamii bora trust family. what is the procedure?.

you are doing good job,keep up.

i would like to join tha group but dont know where
your offices are situated.or how can i be amember

I would like an opportunity to work with Jamii
Bora. What is the procedure for job application??

Give us morer info on Jamii Bora Careers, we are very interested

Id like to know how to join Jamii bora please send me details via my email address. Thank you.

I would like to be a member how do i go abaut it
it is a nice organization give me more infor about the family

am a holder of diploma in co-operative management and a amember of your sacco,do i qualify for a job in your organisation?


Hi Any one willing to join Jamii Bora can contact Njiru Rukenya at nrukenya@gmail.com or call me at this cell: 0722 870 965

hi ,i would like to know how i can be a mamber of Jamiibora if possible soon.And where are your offices located here in Nairobi

Dear Sir

We are agroup of 5 and would like to enroll into the jami bora saccoo. Please Iwould like to recieve analysed information detailling the proccedures, regestration and benefits involved.

kWe joined Jamii bora Sacco as agroup of five people two
yyears ago, unfortunately one member borrowed loan
bbut failed to repay back part of the money,That issue has affected me coz ican’t get loan despite that i have mmoney in my aaccount.Question, what should i do to get l loan?Respond

I WOULD LIKE TO JOIN JAMII BORA . Which are the procedures and the benefits?


hi Jamii bora!thanks for your perfomance and would like to join you as an employee what is the procedure? am a Diploma holder in banking and finance and cureently working in a sacco for he last 6years.

Hi would like to know how to become a Jamii bora member. Pls reply through my email address leshauwilliams@yahoo.com

hi,im a member and a qualified cashier.i have noticed that most of your brances are short of cashiers, could i be considered for the post?

i would love to join the jamii bora communicity kindly send me the details

Lovely to see how many families have been settled in new homes . Thanks and God bless. How can i join you I`m running a School in the slums of Nairobi Kawangware looking for someone to partner so that i can build a permanent School to accommodate more poor children The children center has classes from baby class to high School We have over 360 children in both School 75 of them are total orphans and live on the School compound.

I uphold Jamii Bora. I became a member early this year and i have continued ti save til today. I anticipate to save and get a house

I uphold Jaii Bora. It has helped me realize the need to save for the future. I beacame a member early this year. Live Long JAMII BORA

Am impressed by the project and would like to be a beneficiary of the project.

Hi.congrats thats good,how can i join?please mail me all the details.thanks in advance.

i have a group of five people want to join jamii bora what am i supposed to do next

What a fantastic site and informative posts I definitely will bookmark your website

i would like to join jamii bora Sacco for me to save until i buy my own house please send me details as soon as possible

Hi. i am impressed by your work.keep it up.I would like to save and own a house too.please send me details.

I would wish to know how to join Jamii bora, how to start a business for a beginer, who has no much capital but would like advice, starting capital is about 10,000 shillings.

how can i become a Jamii bora member

just wondered ,do you deal with people from the slums only?my em: is lynmaccs@yahoo.com.Am interested in the program.

Ahaa, its pleasant discussion about this piece of writing at this place at this weblog,
I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.

I get pleasure from, result in I found just what I was taking a look for.
You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man.
Have a nice day. Bye

It’s in fact very complex in this busy life to listen news on Television, so I only use world wide web for that purpose, and get the hottest information.

I’d like to join jamii bora trust, what is the procedure?

i would like to join jamii bora sacco how do i go about it?

i would would like to be a member of jamii bora sacco,please advice on the requirements

i would like to be part of jamii bora family and a member of your sacco please let me know if its possible and the procedure thank you

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