VOICES: Women & Sanitation in Nairobi’s Slums

by James Tayler

Back in April, we posted an article about women and sanitation in Nairobi’s slums. (“In A Risky Place: Women & Sanitation in Nairobi’s Slums” ). Recently, we revisited the audio recorded interviews with the women of Mukuru kwa Reuben to give you a first-hand account of their experiences and opinions on living conditions in the slums. Below is a short audio recording, followed by a transcription of their words for your convenience.

Doris Museti: “We are here, and then that person after 30, 40, 50 years, they are claiming the land back. Where do we go? We are not trees. You can say that ‘I am selling this land, it is 5 acres, it has 20,000 trees, so the cost of the land it is this much, the cost of the trees it is this much,’ so now, we are the trees…. When the land value has gone up, they want to develop. When the land value was down, they did not want to develop.”

Evelyn Apondi: “It has been very difficult for us, especially when there is a father, brother, big brothers & sisters in the same cube [shack] and there are no toilets. It has been very hard, but when life is like that, sometimes you just bear it because life is a gift from God. So, we have just been surviving.”

Doris Museti: “Getting to the toilet at night is very difficult. They are closed, so you have to get an alternative. So it is very risky. You have to get two or three women to escort you. If you do not come with two or three people, it is a rape case and it will never hear it reported.”