Pockets of Hope…

Disposing of any type of waste in Kibera is a huge challenge. Flying toilets, open sewers and informal housing density provide little opportunity and even less incentive to tackle what seems like an impossible problem. Dumping just out of site and open burning do little to mitigate as daily survival takes precedence over longer term environmental issues and general municipal disinterest.

Always a source of surprise, young Bonface (no relation) has motivated and created unexpected pockets of change and hope. Communal clean ups and joint strategies have seeded a new determination that small changes can have big impacts as Kibera residents pull together allowing environmental hope to birth longer term physical and mental health benefits.

Ever the optimist this young visionary is planning the planting of tree saplings in some of the cleared areas to improve air quality and quite literally “bringing life to the city”.

School children play on the fence of their school near burning rubbish at the Kibera slum, one of Nairobi's poorest quarters 24 October 2007. Schooling in Kenya is free of charge for children until 8th grade. According to a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report published 25 October 2007 on the state of the global environment in developing countries, three million people die annually from water-borne diseases. An estimated 2.6 billion people lack improved sanitation. By 2025, water use is predicted to have risen by 50% in developing countries and by 18% in the developed world. The UNEP's Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4) report is the culmination of five years of work by hundreds of experts across the world. AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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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