28 Feb 2013 11:00
Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, 28 February 2013.
Kibera is a slum in Nairobi, the biggest in Africa. According to the datas of the Kenya Population and Housing Census (2009) Kibera is composed by twelve villages with a total population of about 170,000 people. Other statistics talk about 800,000 people living in the slum (2006 - Mike Davis, a well known expert on urban slums); International Housing Coalition (2007 - IHC) talked about more than half a million people and UN-Habitat had released many estimations, ranging between 350,000 and 1 million people (2013).
The name "Kibera" is derived from the Nubian and means "forest", the area in fact was a woodland.
It was established in 1912, when the British colonial government founded a settlement for 600 soldiers of the Nubian King's African Rifles regiment and their families.
In 1948, the worsening of hygiene conditions in Kibera led to the formulation of the first formal requests to dismantle the slums. This project was never brought to fruition, and the population of Kibera continued to grow, up to a real population explosion since the seventies.
Now it is an extreme poor settlement and the residents live in critical hygienic conditions: basic services don't exist, such as running water and electricity.
Water is collected from the Nairobi dam but it is not clean, and as a result it causes typhoid and cholera.
Toilet facilities don't exist too, as well as medical services: in Kibera there are no hospitals and only charity organizations help from this side.
In addition, glue sniffing and cheap drugs are an increasing problem that is affecting the population of the slum.