Saturday, January 05, 2008

the new shantytown of people forced out of the shantytown

The post-election violence in Nairobi has pitted neighbor against neighbor. These former residents of Mathare, a shantytown with a history that goes back more than half a century, on the were forced from their homes and have become squatters on the nearby airforce base (photo from

Friends tell me that several swathes of Kibera were burnt, but they were hoping tensions would cool this weekend.

This much is sure: beyond finding a political solution, there's lots of mending to be done between neighbors.


L.A. said...

I came across your blog and felt I could relate a great deal. While I have not lived in a squattercity, I have visited several around the world. I visited Kibera a while ago. I am glad you are bringing attention to the people that live in these conditions.

Anonymous said...

I've never lived in a shantytown, but at some point I want to go around and see them. Right now, I only research them for my M.A. degree. Would love to hear some tips on how to avoid becoming an overpaid, under-experienced intellectual type :)

Have any of you contacts or friends indicated to you whether NGOs, government institutions or anyone else is going to attempt to build confidence and re-build relationships in Kibera?


rn said...

Thanks for your thoughts.

I do have contacts and friends in the shantytowns of Nairobi. But before we can think about reconstruction, let's make sure the politicos come up with a formula for peace. If they don't, there will likely be more destruction.

If things cool down sufficiently, I'll be asking friends in Kibera and Korogocho and other neighborhoods to give me the low down on what's been destroyed and how many people are homeless. And I'll ask them what's necessary to heal the wounds of the past week.

Keep in touch.