Bridging the Rains…

DSC00092The sprawling informal settlements associated with mega cities in developing economies by their very nature pay little attention to government regulation or planning requirements. They do however, regimentally and consistently conform to geographical paradigms and theory with alarming accuracy and character. Burgeoning developing capital cites require a minimal cost and a flexible labour force; lots of it. Economic migrants, charmed from the villages by hope and aspiration of the big smoke require self-build shelters and gash space. That land is unlikely to be connected to the electrical grid or mains sewers and is usually found on a steepish slope. With remarkable ingenuity and tenacity the system dysfunctionally functions against the backdrop of lawlessness, poverty and flying toilets.

That is until the big rains come.

Cascading the street sewers and shorting the informal power lines, metal sided shacks go lethal whilst their foundations are undermined and mud walls are stripped to their stick carcasses. The narrow heavily polluted stream that bounds the Kibera slum at Kianda, became an untameable torrent that gorged anything that lay in its extended path.

The rickety homemade bridge will be easy to replace; the two young boys who succumbed that morning will not.









These writings are penned whilst in the field working with our friends who live and work in Kibera and it is hoped that they bring insight, understanding and a provocation that the status-quo is unacceptable. Please feel free to unsubscribe or share as appropriate. Any opinions implied or expressed are my own and names may have been changed for the sake of privacy.

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