Blog by Amy Agnew, Campaigner East Africa for Amnesty International
“I’m so sad to hear that Kibera is not on the government’s map (for planning and budgeting purposes). We have a Member of Parliament for Kibera who is supposed to represent us but it simply isn’t happening”.
Resident of Kibera, Nairobi, feedback and consultation workshop facilitated by AI, 9 July 2010.
More than half of Nairobi’s population, some 2,000,000 people, live in slums and up to 1,000,000 live in Kibera alone.
The denial of the right to adequate housing of residents of Kibera and Nairobi’s other forgotten settlements is a direct consequence of government policies and official indifference to the urban poor. The proliferating informal settlements have been excluded from Nairobi’s planning and budgeting processes, effectively treating them as if they didn’t exist.
State provision of decent low-cost housing has been sacrificed in the pursuit of greater profits in more upmarket housing. Slum residents continue to be denied a range of essential services provided by the government to other residents of the city.
At the second of five workshops that Amnesty International is holding in various slums in Nairobi, the women participants came up with concrete strategies for campaigns that would bring them closer to being able to live in slums with greater security and dignity.