The role of local institutions in adaptation to climate change in urban informal settlements : a case of Mathare 4B, Nairobi
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Climate change and variability impacts are global concerns but in Kenya, this is becoming critical as an increasing large part of both rural and urban population is becoming vulnerable to diverse natural hazards. This main objective of this study was to investigate the role of local institutions in facilitating climate change adaptation in urban informal settlements with Mathare 4B as the case study. The study therefore first investigated the relevant local institutions and their actions in relation to adaption to climate change, and then proceeded to examine how they are accessed and by whom. It then looks at how extra-local institutions have interacted with the local institutions in facilitating climate change adaptation. Using Participatory Urban Appraisal (PUA) methodology, qualitative data was collected from primary and secondary sources during two field trips and then analysed using issue-centred methodology. Findings from the study reveal that local institutions are very much involved in the facilitation of climate change adaption in Mathare 4B through mediating social support systems, financial empowerment, access and use of weather information, disaster management and connections with extra-local institutions. The study further reveals that households and social groups have varying access to local institutions largely dependent on socioeconomic positions, tribe, gender and age. The study finds that several extra-local institutions are actively involved in facilitating climate change adaptation in Mathare 4B and closely interact and collaborate with the local institutions. Overall, the study concludes that local institutions are very important in facilitating climate change adaptation in urban informal settlements and that government and external partners should put more efforts in collaborating and interacting with them.