High density informal dwellings are a consequence of urban pull factors and aspirational hope of those who have little. Nairobi has capacious needs and Kibera services them at minimal cost. Whilst Nairobi’s urban growth sprawl is partly organic it benefits from oversite and planning, Kibera is left to its own devices. Whilst water and sewage are a daily challenge, electrical power is often casually harvested with disastrous consequences.
Open charcoal indoor burners, copious combustible materials, live electrical shorting metal cladding, conspire to make frequent fires inevitable. Recently, two with in the space of days occurred in the Kiandi region, the latter sadly claiming the life of a 16 year old child. The fire service rarely attend as the density of development would make access impossible. Community firefighting alongside self-destruction of the surrounding dwellings break the fire, but not the community. Resolute and stoically determined; lives have to go on.
Government electrical poles have been in place in Kiandi for some time delivering an illusion of hope but no power. The funds have dried.