Long Rains and Hair Spray…

DSC00158Confusion and the stubborn non-compliance of former climate patterns are a daily reality to Kibera residents. Climate change is a fact; presidential hair spray and coal washing are ridiculous irrelevancies when standing knee deep in the aromatic consequences of the longer dry season, informal surface sewers and the current fluvial overload. Conforming to geographic principles, inclined slum-land adds potential energy and momentum to the rich red ironed stained unstable earth, loaded with months of discarded rubbish and human waste. Shack walls are undermined, people get hurt and some do not survive.

Alongside the more formal part-metalled roads runs a deep culvert constructed by the council as a part solution to the heavy rains. Woefully inadequate it provided limited relief until it was choked by huge amounts of flood debris and rampant shack parts. Precariously constructed over the culvert, the tiny business kiosks which provide a precious income to so many, succumbed to the inevitable as the rancid flood contents inundate and destroy the ground-upwards.

Clearing the culvert by hand is the only solution. Stock shifted, business decks are lifted and the brave go in feet first. Billy, a respected local business leader grinned widely from the depths of the dark culvert and explained nonchalantly that it just had to be done. Hand shaking was not an option.





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.
Dave Boniface.

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