Tags / Somali Neighborhood
Khat, a stimulant similar to the coca leaf in South America, is heavily distributed within Nairobi, the largest city and capital of Kenya. It is cultivated in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh, a suburb of Naroibi, at 2 pm everyday. Khat is pre-ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on each sack, which local vendors then collect and sell to local chewers. Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant to Somalis who make up most of their customer base. Since it's an important cash crop for Kenyans and Ethiopians, Khat is a thriving business. It is now Ethiopia's second largest export behind coffee. Though khat has been banned by the US and other European countries, it remains legal in the UK and is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.
Eastleigh is a densely populated Somali neighbourhood in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an economic hub for cheap goods and rumored to be a safe haven for militia group Al Shabaab, whose activities have been funded by the khat trade. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. June, 2011.