Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi and the largest urban slum in Africa. It is estimated that most of the residents in the slum are poor and live on less than $1 per day. In addition to that the unemployment rate is high, the number of people living with HIV and AIDS in the slum is also high. There are also incidences of crime such as mugging, theft, assault, rape and even murders.
However, Kibera was not always like this. During the 1960s before the rural-urban migration the place must have been very good and the people lived in peace and harmony with each other. Recently, Nation had an interview with a 66-year-old man who lives in Kibera and talked about the upcoming general elections.
The man who is a supporter of Raila Odinga and hopes he wins talked about the Azimio presidential candidate and how Kibera looked when he was a young boy. Mr. Jamaldin Yahya was quoted saying, "Raila spent his childhood here. We used to see his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, walking in his shorts while he lived at the Kabarnet Gardens, which is just less than a kilometer from where we are, as the vice president."
When it came to describing how Kibera looked in the mid-1960s, Mr. Yahya painted a picture of a very beautiful place. He was quoted saying, "Kibera used to be a village which had many rivers, and trees in the mid-1960s, and residents would rear livestock and go hunting, fishing, and swimming in the rivers."
It seems life then was very good but the situation started deteriorating in the mid-80s when corrupt government officials started building cheap houses for rental purposes to make money. However, the next government should ensure that appropriate infrastructure and social ammenities are put in place to bring sanity, cleanliness and security to this famous place.
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