Visit to Nairobi’s largest slum

Entrance to Ismael's one roomed house with public water point

The Nairobi slum of Kibera is home to many thousands of people [estimates range from 170,000 to 1,000,000] all pressed together in a very small area of land. There is only minimal sanitation with a few water taps shared by many people for which they have to pay.

"Brainstorm Junior School"

We visited two schools. The first was the “Brainstorm Junior School” with 72 children [29 of them are orphans] with a range in age from babies to 5 years old housed in one room measuring approximately 7m by 18m. It is run by volunteer teachers who also provide the children with 2 meals a day. There is only one

The Library

toilet protected by 2 separate locks; too bad if you are in a hurry! Breakfast and lunch are provided by the school when they have the funds. The food is prepared on a charcoal stove called a jeko.  The equipment was very basic as illustrated by the picture of the library. After my previous visit there was an outbreak of cholera killing several of their pupils.

A class room in the second school

The second school accommodated 450 children from 5-11years in an area approximately 25m by 25m. To seat all the children there were two very rickety ladders leading to an extra storey giving 10 class rooms in all. The children sat on one bench and wrote on an empty bench in front of them. The density of children in such a small space I found incomprehensible. What if there was a fire in the wooden structure?  Health and safety would immediately condemn it in the UK. There was nowhere for the children to play. I did not see the toilet facilities here but I am sure, even if they existed, they would be very rudimentary. In spite of this the children were nicely dressed, appeared happy and were very well disciplined.

The rickety staircase

A main street in Kibera

Our visit was terminated abruptly by Mary suddenly starting to feel nauseated and actually vomited which I can tell you is extremely embarrassing in an area with no toilets or running water. Such an incident brings it home realising that this state affairs is normal for the people living there. It was a very unpleasant experience for us both.

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