[This post has been edited and republished here to set a pace for the newer articles on sustainable development since it has existed on my previous site. It is, therefore, to be used as a reference for future blogs on sustainability, as the experience written about here is what prompted me to choose the environment and sustainability, and also venture into what could be done about it. By the time of its publication, I barely had knowledge of Kibera. This experience is what prompted me to dig further into Africa and her slums, communities, and their attitude towards the Sustainable Development. I hope it gives you a sneak peep into where my on sustainability journey started!]
The first time I heard of Kibera was when my friend Kimanthi was advising me on how to take a trip to Olympics stage, where my friend Brenes was to pick me from and take me to her house, (A few plots fenced up before you slop down to Kibera). Kimanthi had emphasized how careful I had to be as he had been a resident of this part of Nairobi some time back so watching out was all he could tell me to do and I have kept his words inside my head ever since.
This morning Brenes took me for a trip around Kibera, one of the biggest slums in Nairobi and this is what we found. The pictures will shock you but what is worse is the life within the slums which of course was not captured in these images but I hope they can give you a hint of what is really going on in some parts of our world.
From the picture above one can see closely that there are rocks in between the houses and looking at it closely made us wonder what would happen if one of them fell onto a shack. A whole lot would be crushed and a lot of lives in there would be lost.
This is beside the enormous stench that engulfs your nostrils and makes you want to sneeze as soon as you step closer.
Apparently, the slum is mostly occupied by the Nubians, a group of people who in Brenes’ description, ( are like Arabs except they have a darker complexion.) Clearly, they have a different tradition, their women wear turbans, apply dye to their feet, speak Nubian, and their sons, once grown, are not allowed to go out and marry but instead bring their new wives in the same household as their parents. This, in my opinion, might be the reason for the expansion of the slum, as mostly Nubians are its residents.
(Don’t be shocked; my only Nubian knowledge was that I had acquired in my Social theory and African philosophical thought classes and as far as I was concerned, it was only to do with Nubian origins having been in Ancient Egypt.) I have no idea how this came up in Kenya, particularly in Nairobi, and in Kibera, one of the city’s largest slums.