Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Living amidst the rubbish of Kenya's slum

BBC NEWS presents a bleak pictures of life in Kibera, Kenya's largest squatter community, which seems immune to all of the world's talk of the Millennium Development Goals.

It's not a particularly comprehensive piece, but it does make a veiled point: despite having allocated $6.6 million to improving the community, the bureaucrats don't know what to do.

UN-Habitat executive director Anna Tibaijuka tells the reporter, "If you really want to benefit the poor, you have to spend time on what we call social organisation, otherwise you might upgrade the slum and people who have better incomes will come and take over....Indeed, it takes a long time and very little seems to be happening, but a lot has been happening in terms of preparations....Physical construction is actually the easiest part of it."

While it may be true that bricks and mortar are easier than community building, why doesn't she invite the reporter in to witness the so-called "social organization" that's in the works.

And how about installing water and sewers now, to give the people hope?

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