Many of you have contacted us expressing concern regarding the post-election violence in Kenya. Thankfully no one in the community or the Soweto Youth Group has been harmed, nor have they lost their homes. Much of the violence and destruction – where vast areas of the settlement have been burned to the ground and the rail line has been ripped up – has occurred in the Kambimuru and Gatwikira villages on the western side of Kibera. Life is slowly coming back to normal for some residents – shops are opening and groups are calling for peace. Unfortunately, the condition of safety over the last few weeks for residents and outsiders alike has varied and can change on a daily basis. Staff from EcoBuild Africa cannot yet travel safely around the city and the University of Nairobi remains closed.
There are serious issues that need to be resolved by Kenyan politicians that will affect the future of Kenya and its position in East Africa and the world. How and when that will happen remains to be seen and there are no clear answers. In the meantime, daily life for residents of Kibera continues. Luckily, our project has not been affected, although there is some flooding as the gabions are not yet completed and the community is maintaining the site as best they can. As soon as it is safe, we would like to continue the project as the residents are anxious to continue working and the Soweto Youth Group has raised some additional funds to contribute to the project. The needs the residents expressed before the violence began – such as access to clean and safe sanitation, income generation, and play areas for their children – are still there, and even more pressing given this new reality. Thank you all for your concern and please feel free to comment or contact us!