The purpose of this paper is to present an extensive household survey amongst four rural communities on Mt. Elgon Kenya. The area is the chosen area for the author’s overall PhD research. In order to offer the inhabitants of Mt. Elgon suitable housing support, the purpose of this paper is to assess the gap between existing housing capacities and compare those to desired housing capacities.
The research combined a survey method with an interview setting. The survey helps the interviewer to structure and register given answers. The interview allows the inhabitant to ask questions or make suggestions.
The research finds that the two communities with financial restraints are unable to articulate improved housing (within their existing capacities) without external help. For the two communities with less financial restraints, the research finds that they struggle to maintain, extend or replicate housing solutions without external help.
The size (200 households), type (purpose, design and approach) and locality of the research are uncommon frameworks to understand inhabitants’ needs toward their built environment. The value, therefore, not only lies in the design of the evaluation framework, but also in the findings that indicate that this is a successful way to conduct this type of research in a vulnerable context. Hopefully providing other researchers in the built environment with an applicable framework.
I would like to thank my promoters prof.dr.ir. Tom Avermaete and dr.ir. Emile Quanjel, for their patience and guidance in supervising me, Avans University of Applied Sciences and Elimu Mount Elgon foundation for providing the financial means and infrastructure to execute the research. The hard work of the local team Billian Sawenja, Khisa Hamphrey & Pauline Nabalayo and Anyonge Nyangugu is also acknowledged , especially Sophie Kibuywa for leading the team and helping them to solve the problems during the survey. Mount Elgon Orchards Ltd., Mt. Elgon Trust, Elimu Mount Elgon and in particular the families: Andersen, Waijers and Dean, for their hospitality and support. The Mt. Elgon community, board, elder and in particular one community worker: Geoffrey Ngeywo. Most importantly my wife Beata Smits-Duda for her unconditional love and support over the past years to make my dreams and ambitions come true.
Smits, M.W.M. (2019), "Toward self-reliant development: Capacity gap within the built environment of Mt. Elgon rural inhabitants", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-12-2018-0063Download as .RIS
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