Nairobi City County Government has enacted a law that provides a framework for structured and effective engagement between Residents Associations and the County Government. The formulation of the Nairobi City County Community and Neighbourhood Associations Engagement Act, 2016 was initiated by KARA in response to lack of a legal and strong engagement mechanism between Residents Associations and the County Government. The Act was published on Friday, 26th August 2016 and shall come into operation upon expiry of ninety (90) days from the date of its publication. While some of the provisions Kara pushed for were not included in the final law, we are nonetheless pleased that its enactment is a step in the right direction and provides an opportunity for Residents Associations to have more say on how decisions (especially on planning) affecting them are made. The specific objectives of the Act are to:

  • Establish a legal framework for the engagement, promotion and facilitation of community and neighbourhood associations in their support and co-operation with the county government in the delivery of services.
  • Enhance public participation in the decision making by the County Government especially with regard to service delivery and thus give effect to Article 10 of the constitution
  • Recognize and facilitate community and neighborhood initiatives in complementing County Government Services, including in security, waste management, water and sanitation
  • Establish a recognition framework for the community and neighborhood associations
  • Provide for the competencies and responsibilities of the neighborhood initiatives and associations
  • Strengthen capacities of associations to enforce regulations aimed at enhancing service provision.

Some of the key highlights of the Act include:

  • The County Government shall enter into recognition agreement with Resident Associations aimed at enhancing the role of the Associations in monitoring compliance with the County planning regulations and zoning requirements in respect of their neighborhood; protection of public utility land and recreational facilities; management of garbage collection and payments.
  • The County Government in consultation with the Residents Associations may delineate respective zones within the County which shall be recognized as areas of the respective neighbourhood associations.
  • The County Government shall at least twice a year convene a forum of Residents Associations to discuss County Government programmes of interest to the residents.   
  • Where two thirds of members of an Association pass a lawful resolution under the mandate of the Association, the resolution shall be binding to the rest of the members within the Association.
  • The County Government may grant waivers on rates, fees and other charges due to it from members of an Association that have successfully implemented recognition agreement entered into with the County Government.
  • The County Government may enter into agency arrangements with any Association for the purpose of providing services.


KARA intends to actively engage the County Government to ensure that the Act is effectively implemented and input from Residents Associations reflected in decisions affecting them. We will also do continuous review of the Act and where necessary propose amendments after expiry of six months from the date of publication of the Act. In the meantime, we are working on a national Residents Associations Bill that will address the interests of Residents Associations across the country.