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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Kibera, The largest urban slum in Africa

Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, and the largest urban slum in Africa. In 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census reports Kibera's population as 170,070, contrary to previous estimates of one or two million people. Other sources suggest the total Kibera population may be 500,000 to well over 1,000,000 depending on which slums are included in defining Kibera. The Uganda Railway Line passes through the center of the neighborhood, providing passengers aboard the train a firsthand view of the slum. Kibera is heavily polluted by human refuse, garbage, soot, dust, and other wastes. The slum is contaminated with human and animal feces, due to the open sewage system and the frequent use of "flying toilets". The lack of sanitation combined with poor nutrition among residents accounts for many illnesses and diseases. 

Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Image credit Dennis Rainaldi

Nubian word Kibera means Forest or Jungle. Kibera is in southwest Nairobi, roughly 5 kilometers from the city center. Much of its southern border is bounded by the Nairobi river and the Nairobi Dam, an artificial lake that provides drinking water to the residents of the city. Kibera is divided into 13 villages, including Kianda, Soweto East, Gatwekera, Kisumu Ndogo, Lindi, Laini Saba, Siranga, Makina and Mashimoni. The 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census reported Kibera's population as 170,070. The Kibera slum was previously thought to be one of the biggest informal urban settlements in the world. Several actors had provided and published over the years growing estimations of the size of its population, most of them stating that it was the largest slum in Africa with the number of people there reaching over 1 million. According to Mike Davis, a well known expert on urban slums, Kibera had a population of about 800,000 people. International Housing Coalition talked about more than half a million people. UN-Habitat had released several estimations ranging between 350,000 and 1 million people. These statistics mainly come out of analysis of aerial pictures of the area. IRIN estimated a population density of 2000 residents per hectare. [source]

Railway track, Kibera Slum, Nairobi, Because there are no paved roads in Kibera, residents use the active railway track that cuts through the area’s center as their main pedestrian thoroughfare.
Railway track, Kibera Slum, Nairobi, Because there are no paved roads in Kibera, residents use the active railway track that cuts through the area’s center as their main pedestrian thoroughfare. Image credit Antoine TARDY
In 2008 an independent team of researchers began a door-by-door survey named “Map Kibera Project” with the aim to map physical and socio-demographic features of the slum. A trained team of locals, after having developed an ad-hoc surveying methodology, has so far gathered census data of over 15,000 people and completed the mapping of 5000 structures, services (public toilets, schools), and infrastructures (drainage system, water and electricity supply) in the village of Kianda. On the basis of data collected in Kianda, the Map Kibera Project team estimated that the whole Kibera slum could be inhabited by a total population ranging from 235,000 to a maximum of 270,000 people, dramatically scaling down all previous figures. [source]

Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Image credit Krzysztof Miekus

Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Image credit Francesco Cavalli

Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Image credit Molly Layde

Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Image credit Xavier Allard

Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Image credit khym54

Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Image credit Christine Olson

Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Image credit khym54

Jessica Mzinza, a tomato trader in Kibera's Toi Market, in Nairobi
Jessica Mzinza, a tomato trader in Kibera's Toi Market, in Nairobi, March 7, 2013. She said the price of a pot of tomatoes had doubled since Kenya's presidentlal election three days earlier, from 100Ksh to 200 Ksh (£1.50). Image credit Jerome Starkey
Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks.
Kibera, The Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, in which around 1 million people live in close-packed tin shacks. Image credit Tony Hoffman
Source — Wikipedia

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