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Information needed to write a Kibera case study

To begin a Kibera case study, it is important to state precisely where Kibera is and what it is. For example, you need to state that Kibera is the name of a vast slum in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Then explain how big it is and put Kibera into perspective.

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  • Nairobi has a population of around 4 million and is known as the ‘green city in the sun.’ although residents of Kibera would probably think this description was a joke. Nairobi was founded by the British, who colonised Kenya, in 1899.
  • Nairobi is in the central part of Kenya and is 300 miles, or 480 kilometres north west of the port city of Mombasa.
  • Nairobi was first created in the 1890’s and was originally built for railway workers.
  • By the 1900s Nairobi was a small trading centre. It became the capital of what was then called the British East Africa Protectorate. People are always attracted to cities, and so there was soon a surge of migrants from rural areas flocking to it to find work.
  • Now Nairobi is the main industrial centre in Kenya.

Kibera is estimated to have a quarter of a million people in it, although this isn’t an official figure. Two and a half million people live in Nairobi’s slums, and Kibera is the biggest of them. It is estimated that there are 700,000 people living in Kibera (according to the international charity, Habitat for Humanity Great Britain). However, there could be many more. It is believed that most of the people living in Kibera exist on less than $1 a day.

HIV/AIDS is rife in Kibera as men have unprotected sex as a matter of course. Clearly there is a need for education regarding such matters. Many orphans live in Kibera, because their parents died because of AIDS.

Slum dwellers in Kibera and elsewhere can easily be evicted from their homes (actually shacks) because they are the world’s dispossessed. They don’t have tenancy agreements or any land rights as they are basically squatters.

Kibera facts

  • In Kibera there are few toilet facilities.
  • There are no clinics or hospitals provided by the government of Kenya.
  • Any medical provision is given by charities.
  • There is no sewage system.
  • Many crimes such as rape, and violent crimes are committed by people who have drunk too much Changaa, which is alcohol with a very high Methanol content.
  • Residents of Kibera can easily be bored as they have no employment prospects. They sniff glue and take cheap drugs, so exacerbating the social problems.
  • Approximately 50% of Kibera residents are unemployed, with the rest being employed as unskilled workers. Charities are trying to provide training so that people have better job prospects.
  • It was only recently that clean water was available in Kibera. That meant that typhoid and cholera were rife. People have to pay for their clean water.
  • The shacks people live in are usually built from mud, perhaps covered over with concrete. They have dirt or concrete floors and probably a corrugated iron roof, which makes the interior impossibly hot.
  • Malaria is a huge health problem.
  • There are few schools in Kiera and the quality of education generally leaves a lot to be desired.

There are various international charities operating in Kibera, but the Kenyan government seems to have neglected its citizens. Some teach mothers basic health and hygiene practices, so that their children can have a better start in life. However, if conditions in Kibera are generally unsanitary there is little that can be done.

Volunteers are desperately needed by charities functioning in Kibera so that the situation of its residents can be improved, albeit partially.

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