Slum Dwellers and the Problems they Face

map of Kenya and Nairobi with largest slums
map of Kenya and Nairobi with largest slums (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every day, every week, every month and every year, the numbers of slum dwellers increase in several parts of the world. The number is expected to continue growing unless there is a serious concerted efforts by all the stake holders.
Kenya’s capitol city of Nairobi has some of the dense unsanitary and insecure slums in the world. Among them are Kibra, Mathare Valley and Korogocho, just to mention a few. It is estimated that almost half of the city’s population live in slums and squatter settlements within the city, with little and inadequate clean water and sanitation. Housing conditions in these slums are deplorable and most residents have no form of secure tenure.
Kibra has been rated as one of the largest slums in the world, and the largest in Africa.

Challenges met in slums.

Challenges met are numerous. Most people lack money to buy food and other essential commodities, and rent houses. Access to all goods and services depends on having a cash income.

What are the causes of slums?

Slums come about because of, and perpetuated by a number of forces. Among these are rapid rural-to-urban migration, increasing urban poverty, inequality and insecure tenure – all contribute to the creation and continuation of slums. There are also homeless families, some because they have been evicted from other areas and some because they cannot afford any housing. And people escaping political conflicts – typically the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).
Lack of secure tenure is a primary reason why slums persist. Slum dwellers have no ways and incentive to improve the surroundings. Secure tenure is a precondition for access to other economic and social opportunities.
Another big cause is poverty driven by failures of governance in states where public resources are squandered without accountability, and injustices and marginalization are on increase.

 

 

[contact-form-7 id=”452″ title=”Contact form 1″]
Enhanced by Zemanta

Orphans and Destitute Children in Slums

human rights
human rights (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Lets care for orphans and destitutes in Slums

We seem to forget that among the dense population in the slums are orphans and destitute children. Their numbers is increasing at a rate twice as much as the increase in the slum population.
Wars, great epidemics (like HIV) and poverty (due to bad governance), have created thousands of these orphans and destitute s.
These young people who are the nation’s future are growing and chances are that many of them will reach working age and will have no earning capacity due to lack of education as they cannot attend schools. Many will probably not be able to vote.
This category of our community need help. If we cannot help them to have earning capacity,or help them to to have upright morals, they will grow up and be a menace to the society.

Early intervention programs.

Everybody should have a passion for shared civil responsibility. If everybody play their part, we would hold the key to understanding and solving our own problems.
We are hoping that Human Rights organizations, in their campaigns, will take a proactive role to assist in the matter, probably organize awareness day to spread the message about.
However, the biggest help should come from the governments in Africa. They should stop bad governance, injustices like marginalization which are the major cause of poverty. We all know that poverty is driven by failures of governance in states where public resources ate squandered without accountability.

Writing this article was never about making money. However, the donation I appeal for is for enabling me cover my  blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for the reforms of the marginalized minority, and also engaging in community matters.

Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.

 

 

[contact-form-7 id=”452″ title=”Contact form 1″]
Enhanced by Zemanta

Nubians Kibra Life – Past and Present

 

In the 19th century, the British established the British East Africa territory which comprised the land which sits astride the equator, which is today’s Kenya.

English: A Ten Cent and One Cent British East ...
English: A Ten Cent and One Cent British East Africa piece from 1952(10) and 1924 (1). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be able to settle in these new found territories, the British brought with them soldiers from other parts of the world, which included soldiers from the Sudan. This was done to ensure their security. And these soldiers later fought alongside the British army in the first
se soldiers were a formidable force and and second world wars.
These Sudanese soldiers were the spine of the early British army in this part of the world.
The Sudanese soldiers mentioned above were the Nubians settled in a military reserve in Kibra, which is located on the outskirts of the city of Nairobi, after conscription from the British army.
The Kibra land was a gift to the Sudanese soldiers in recognition to their distinguished service.

What kind of life did the Nubians live?

The first Nubians who settled in Kibra lived a communal life similar to the medieval village life. A village life consisting of a population comprised mostly of farmers, houses, barns, sheds and animal pens, clustered around. This was surrounded by ploughed fields and pastures.
This village was a home for the Nubians. Most were born, toiled, married, had children and died within the village. Most rarely venturing beyond its boundaries.
The Nubians had their own language, dress code, cuisine, ceremonies, ( birth, circumcision, wedding, etc ), dances, arts and artifacts.
The typical Nubian house architecture featured four bedrooms, a visitor room, a large sitting room, with large windows overlooking flower/tree gardens on the outside. The kitchen was located on one side at the back, while the bathrooms and pit latrines were on the other.
The houses were built with poles and wooden planks and frames bought from forest owners around Kibra.
The roofs of the houses were made from flattened oil tins and oil drums, (typically 20 lt kerosene containers were used in those days).
The walls of these houses were made of mud, and cow dung collected from the livestock keepers around. The wall finishing was so smooth that it had the appearance of cement plaster. These walls were often patterned with flower paintings that made them very attractive. Some of those houses, over 90 years old, are still standing there today.
Vegetable gardens and farms for other crops and livestock were developed further away from the main house.

Recreational facilities.

Kibra had enough recreational facilities, particularly playing grounds for children. These grounds were also used for wedding ceremonies and other communal activities. For indoor activities a central hall was built in the centre of the village, which was also used as a cinema.

Post independence life.

Life in Kibra changed gradually after Kenya attained independence in 1963 from outside influences. New comers from outside Kibra for economic and political reasons. By 1980s and 1990s, the number of outsiders grew so big. The Nubians then became a small minority in the ratio 1 to 12.

Changes in sociocultural environment.

The big inflow of outsiders in Kibra had a bad effect. It is known that social and cultural influences cause changes in attitudes, beliefs, norms, customs and lifestyle. Inability of the Nubians in Kibra to foresee changes in these areas and react timely was devastating.

Challenge facing the Nubians.

The biggest challenge now facing the Nubians of Kibra is whether the government of Kenya will honor the promise of giving the Kibra land ownership documentation.


Writing this article was never about making money. However, the donation I plead for is to help me cover my blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for the reforms of the marginalized minority, and also in engaging in other community matters.

 Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.

[ contact-form-7 id=”453″ title=”Contact form 1_copy”]

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Kenya Nubians Celebrate ACERWC Rulling

ACERWC rulling

The year 2012 brings with it a great hope and high expectations for the Nubian community on Kenya. This is so because in September 2011, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Child published its first ever decision, relating to discrimination in access to nationality for Nubian children in Kenya. ACERWC was responding to a communication filed under its complaints procedure. The committee found the case to be admissible because the national proceeding here in Kenya had effectively stalled making the case an exception to the requirement to exhaust domestic remedies before turning to the committee.
The arguments put forward to the Committee of Experts are:
1. Violation of the rights to acquire nationality at birth for Nubian children.
2. Unlawful discrimination against Nubian children on basis of their ethnic background.
3. Consequential violations: as a result of historical tre- atment as foreigners, citizen status was uncertain, denial of equal access to essential services such as education and healthcare.

The Committee found Kenya’s action violated Article 6 of the African Charter provision protecting children’s right. The Committee then made its recommendations to the government of Kenya to correct the violations within six month after the ruling.
ACERWC decision’s significance extends well beyond Kenya. Nubians are conscious that their case could have far reaching implications for other marginalized groups in Kenya and Africa as a whole. Their example should also be a source of hope and encouragement for stateless communities struggling to claim their rights all over the world.

Time to celebrate or is it still too early?

Nubian Culture

Culture and society

This blog is about the culture of Nubian community who live in East Africa, particularly in Kenya. The writer has sensed the danger of dwindling in the values or activity of the Nubian culture in this area.

What is culture?

Culture can be described as the way of life of a particular society or a group of people including pattern of thought, belief, behavior, customs, traditions, rituals, dress and language, as well as art, music and literature.
Culture is a powerful human tool for survival, but is a fragile phenomenon. It is constantly changing and is easily lost because it is not written.
Nubians need to keep their traditions and culture alive so that they can continue to pass it on from one generation to another.
To revive the Nubian culture and make it vibrant, the starting point would probably be to borrow from the work of Craig Constantine and continue to build up from there.
The art exhibition is one way of viewing their identity and its contribution to the entire Nubian heritage over the course of history.
Nubians can start a local gallery and display paintings and photography on the walls of the exhibition gallery.
. Paintings and photographs of their traditional houses.
. Colorful traditional Nubian clothing.
. Photographs of, and display of traditional hand woven bag, baskets, mats and other accessories.
. Stylish braiding of women hair.
. Nubian musical instruments, etc.

 

Writing this article was never about making money. However, the small donation I plead for is for helping me cover blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for reforms of the marginalized minority,  and also engaging in other community matters.

Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.

 

 

[contact-form-7 id=”453″ title=”Contact form 1_copy”]
Enhanced by Zemanta

The Voice of the Marginalized People

Marginalized people of Kibra

Kibra is an area on the outskirt of Nairobi, the capitol city of Kenya. This piece of land, measuring approximately 4100 acres was a reward given to the Nubian soldiers by the then British colonial government. The Nubian soldiers fought alongside the British army from the 19th century up to the two world wars of 1914 and 1945.
Although the politics of this country has changed Kibra to what it is now, the largest slum in Africa. The Nubians who live in Kibra, which is their home, are now a small minority in the ratio of 1 to 12, after their land was invaded by outsiders brought in by selfish politicians.

The Nubians still cherish and have passion for Kibra, even with the faint hope of obtaining the land ownership document from the government. And even as the number of poor and excluded people among the community is increasing rapidly.

Expression of Passion for Kibra
1. We all know that there is a great ‘passion’ among our community for out Kibra. People love the ambiance, the natural setting, the country side, the history, the heritage and much mote. These feelings have unfortunately been largely destroyed by the politics of this country.
2. There is a strong sense of community. We ate proud of ourselves, our community organizations and our neighborhoods.
3. There is a sense of entrenchment. As people say, ‘we all love progress, it is the change we hate’.
4. Nonetheless, we recognize the opportunity in pursuing fresh ideas/ attitudes. There is a desire to create a new vision, plan for the future and coordinate efforts across the community.
5. Too much focus on issues and weaknesses. We need to promote our strengths among ourselves. Then we will be better able to present our strengths to visitors and others outside our community.
6. There are specific issues that are foremost in our minds:
a. To unite our people so that we speak from same voice.
b. To get the ownership documents for the Kibra land.
c. To protect our quality of life and address the well being of our people.
7. There are strengths to build upon in the community and opportunities to pursue:
a. Coordinating the talents and energies of our people to achieve a common vision.
b. To promote our arts, culture, recreation and leisure
c. Heritage.
d. Under utilized resources
e. Honesty.
8. Our people are knowledgeable, experienced and brimming with interesting and innovative ideas. The challenge is to make good use of these valuable resources.

Donation

Writing this article was never about making money. However, the small donation I plead for is for helping me cover blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for reforms of the marginalized minority,  and also engaging in other community matters.

Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.

 

 

[contact-form-7 id=”453″ title=”Contact form 1_copy”]
Enhanced by Zemanta