Housing conditions are an indicator of the degree to which people live in humane and modern conditions. Materials used in the construction of the floor, roof and wall materials of a dwelling unit are also indicative of the extent to which they protect occupants from the elements and other environmental hazards. Housing conditions have implications for provision of other services such as connections to water supply, electricity, and waste disposal. Low provision of these essential services leads to higher incidence of diseases, fewer opportunities for business services, and lack of a conducive environment for learning. It is important to note that availability of materials, costs, weather and cultural conditions have a major influence on the type of materials used in different localities.
Figure 2.41: Main material used for floors, walls and roofs in rural and urban areas
The use of cement floors is three times more common in urban than in rural households. Conversely, the use of earth floors is also three times more common in rural households than in urban ones.
The use of stone/bricks/blocks walls is six times more common in urban areas than in rural areas just like the use of mud and wood is three times more common in rural than in urban areas.
Iron sheets are the most common roofing material in Kenya for both rural and urban areas.
Figure 2.42: Roof, wall and floor material in counties
Turkana, Wajir and Mandera counties have the least proportions of their populations using corrugated iron sheets for roofing their houses, stone, brick or block for walling their houses as well as cement for flooring their houses. The variations in housing material reflect both access to resources and lifestyle differences stemming from pastotalist versus more sedentary living.