Kibera is located 7km southwest of Nairobi. It is the largest and most densely populated area in sub-saharan Africa with a population of 1.6 million people living in an area of 4sqkm.Kibera is made up of 12 interlocking villages each with a population of approximately 130,000.The name Kibera comes from the Nubian word kibra which means forest or jungle.
Unemployment is at about 60% and as a result crime is rampant. Lack of sanitation and running water also means that disease is rampant. Water and sanitation are the main concerns of the residents of Kibera, there is only a toilet available for every 2500 people. Most people have to buy water because the local supply reaches very few areas of the slum. Because of the lack of toilets many people use plastic bags during the day which are then thrown out once nightfall comes (hence the term flying toilet). If you want a shower you must pay the owner 5 shillings and he will give you a bucket of cold water. The shower is constructed of galvanised sheeting and is located on the side of the street.
Many of the children are orphans with there parents having died of malaria, Aids or tuberculosis. The children are then cared for by their grandparents who don’t always have the means to look after them and sometimes they go without food for a couple of days. Many children end up in orphanages as a result. The houses are mainly constructed of galvanised sheeting and are about 12ft by 12ft, this could house up to 8 people.
A walk through Kibera is an experience that could never be forgotten, the falling down houses, the open sewers and the smell that comes with them and the continuous squelshing conditions underfoot from a mixture of rubbish, mud and flying toilets.
Kibera is the nearest thing to hell on earth.