Louis Rezac

Louis Rezac (Hakijamii - the Economics and Social Rights Centre): Louis received a B.S. in Geology from the University of South Dakota. After graduating, he worked for the Peace Corps as an agricultural extension agent in Mali, Africa. In Mali, Louis worked with a women’s association on small business projects, and secured a grant for a men’s association to sell locally-grown garden seeds. After returning from the Peace Corps, Louis worked for a geological testing company, Geotesting Express.

Promoting The Right To Housing And Basic Services For The Urban Poor

02 Aug

Hakijamii was awarded SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency) funding for a three year project to promote the right to housing and basic services for the urban poor. With this funding Hakijamii will establish a network of grassroots organizations and link them with relevant government agencies so they can effectively advocate for the development and adoption of a pro-poor slum upgrading policy and internationally acceptable eviction guidelines.

Residents of Soweto East relocate to the new high rise estate

Recommendations for the development of a slum upgrading policy and internationally accepted eviction guidelines were included in Kenya’s National Land Policy of 2009.  Despite these recommendations the Kenyan government has yet to implement either of the two.  The ministry of lands has created a task force to develop the policy and guidelines, but the process has been moving at a slow pace but with the help of the reforms and the higher loans provided by Personal Money Lenders the community is moving forward.   Hakijamii hopes to change this by mobilizing existing grassroots organizations and linking them with relevant policy makers so that they can together create fair and just policies in a more timely manner.  The involvement of communities in this process will strengthen the policies and create an example of the importance of community involvement in human rights policy reform.

Here are some of the activities that will be held:

  • Community awareness /sensitization forums on slum upgrading policy and eviction guidelines
  • Lobbying and advocacy for slum upgrading and eviction guidelines
  • Meetings between relevant policy makers to discuss the options they have for creating a slum upgrading policy and eviction guidelines
  • Trips to connect Kenyan policy makers to policy makers in other regions so they can learn how other governments and communities have effectively worked together on policy reform
  • Meetings with grassroots organizations to plan and review campaigns for the adoption and implementation of eviction and slum upgrading policies
  • Workshops to build grassroots organizations capacity to utilize the  rights based approach
  • Monitoring government’s compliance with international human rights laws

Posted By Louis Rezac

Posted Aug 2nd, 2010

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