Chap Chap…

Nairobi’s notorious transport infrastructure is tightening its stranglehold upon the health and patience of city commuters daily. Eye watering and visible black acrid diesel exhaust choke the peak time air whilst ageing poorly maintained vehicles grind into gridlock on a daily basis. On a main arterial route, six lines of frustration morph into eight annexingContinue reading “Chap Chap…”

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 termContinue reading “Pockets of Hope…”

Burundi Steve’s Smokies…

By any measure it’s a protracted safari from Burundi to Kibera and at around 1200 matatu kilometres is an arduous achievement. Barely breaching his twenties, Steve had left his family and the Burundi challenges to make the long trek solo in search of the bright lights and financial illusions of the Nairobi metropolis. Realistically thatContinue reading “Burundi Steve’s Smokies…”

Long Rains and Hair Spray…

Confusion 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,Continue reading “Long Rains and Hair Spray…”

Shylock’s Phoenix…

Devastating fires occur with alarming regularity on the Kibera slum. Informally acquired mains power and open charcoal stoves conspire with densely packed shacks and kiosks constructed mainly of branch wood. Conflagration is inevitable and this time it was Toi market’s turn. An essential business node that allow Kibera’s residents to trade and maintain a levelContinue reading “Shylock’s Phoenix…”

Riding the Matatu…

It is conceivable that the Swahili word ‘tatu’ referred to the one time three shilling standard fare, is now more likely to indicate ‘always room for three more’.  The maximum advertised passenger vehicle capacity is always a minimum. Boarding the Matatu is a chaotic endeavour. Conductors hustle passengers, negotiate fares and communicate with the driversContinue reading “Riding the Matatu…”

The Bank of Kibera…

Financial services are naturally reluctant to venture too close to Kibera as the possibilities and pickings are rather slim. On the more driveable and part metaled roads Equity and Coop Bank branches have taken residence amongst the formalised, better constructed business that have established roots in fortified former grand-by-Kibera-standards houses. Security heavily beefed up andContinue reading “The Bank of Kibera…”