An African American blog of politics, culture, and social activism.
There are approx 2.5 million slum dwellers in about 200 settlements in Nairobi representing 60% of the Nairobi population, occupying just 6% of the land. Kibera houses almost 1 Million of these people. Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa and one of the biggest in the world.
Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) — Life isn’t easy in Kibera, one of Africa’s largest slums. About one million people live in this sprawling settlement in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, with limited access to electricity, running water and other basic infrastructure services.
Getting by here demands a rugged resilience from Kibera’s inhabitants — a willingness to help their neighbors, and group together in times of need. But the everyday challenges of life here haven’t been a barrier to local people expressing themselves. The slum is also home to the Kibera Film School, which gives local creative talent the opportunity to tell stories about their world to a broader audience.
To understand their stories, you first have to understand the conditions they live in. Ronald Omondi, a Kibera resident and film-maker who captures the street life of these poor neighborhoods in his movies, has offered me a tour of the settlement to give an insight into some of the challenges faced here.
Kibera began more than a century ago as an informal settlement in the forests outside Nairobi, where the British colonial authorities gave allocations of land to Sudanese Nubian soldiers returning from service with the King’s African Rifles. From these small, forested plots, a vast settlement has sprung in an haphazard, unplanned way, leaving residents without access to fresh running water in their homes. READ MORE