On The Box Mission is UK Registered Charity number 1155285

On The Box Mission Highlighting our work in the Kibera slum, Nairobi

Kibera - a vast slum

Kibera is one of Africa’s largest informal settlements - slums. It is close to the centre of Nairobi, and poses a stark contrast to the modern shopping malls and expensive apartments that are only a few minutes walk away.

A typical house in Kibera has wattle and mud walls and a corrugated metal roof. It will usually be a single room, but it will often be home to six people. Increasingly people are adding upper floors to their homes as pressure on land grows.

About 250,000 people live in the slum which is only 3 square kilometres in area. Most people have come to the city in the hope of finding work. But work is hard to find, and a casual labourer might only earn £3 for a day’s work. So renting a room in the slum is the only option.

Problems and Hopes

The government has recently made noticeable improvements to the Kibera infrastructure, clearing up rubbish, improving roads, installing lighting and putting in some new sewers.

Nevertheless, sanitation is generally poor in Kibera, with sewage often running in open ditches. There is a limited piped drinking water supply, though this tends to go to communal tanks and rarely to people’s homes. There are high rates of crime, drug abuse and alcohol abuse as well as a high incidence of HIV and AIDS.

For the many children in the slum, education offers the hope of a better future. There is supposed to be free primary education in Kenya, but class sizes can be very large and many parents prefer to use smaller schools, even though they have to pay fees.