Kibera is changing, and changing fast. New roads, water, sewerage and power lines have emerged over the last few months; these networks underpin new health centers, toilet blocks, water kiosks, fish farms and urban agriculture plots. For the first time people can easily catch a matatu or boda into the heart of Kibera to get from work to home, or bring supplies to their businesses.
Much of the work is being driven by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and implemented by the National Youth Service, whose green uniforms and vehicles have become a dynamic fixture in the settlement. Progress has been swift and and the new infrastructure has spurred new business and economic opportunity. While the changes have mostly been accepted by Kibera residents, some tensions and questions remain. Will the impacts and benefits be spread equally between different residents and groups? Enabling dialogue, particularly with youth groups who feel strongly about the changes they’re seeing, is an area that our colleague Ibrahim Maina is working on extensively this year.
In the blogs to follow we will explore the wider physical, economic and social changes in Kibera, as well as how KDI’s physical and community projects on public space, infrastructure and resilience can help shape a positive and inclusive future of the settlement.
The first blog on the the new sewerage trunk line that is snaking its way up the Ngong River will follow directly… stay tuned!
The KDI Kenya Team
Images: diggers, roads, NYS machinery