Kibera is located just three miles from the center of downtown Nairobi and home to an estimated 1 million people. It is Africa’s largest slum. The neighborhood is divided into a number of villages, including Kianda, Soweto East, Soweto West, Gatwekera, Kisumu Ndogo, Lindi, Laini Saba, Silanga, Makina, Undugu, Raila, and Mashimoni.
Most of Kibera slum residents live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.00 per day. Unemployment rates are high. Persons living with HIV in the slum are many, as are AIDS cases. Cases of assault and rape are common. There are few schools, and most people cannot afford education for their children. Clean water is scarce. Diseases caused by poor hygiene are prevalent. A great majority living in the slum lack access to basic services, including electricity, running water, and medical care.
Mathare is one of Nairobi’s oldest slums, built in the small valley carved out by the Mathare river between Juja Road to the south and Thika Road to the north, and located only around 4 km from the CBD. It’s estimated population is about 500,000.
Mathare is characterized by gang violence, rampant illegal brew and a deeper dearth of external support. The roads double as drainage canals.
Mukuru is a slum in the East of Nairobi. It belongs to Embakasi Constituency but extends into Makadara and Starehe constituencies. It is one of the largest slums in Nairobi. It stretches along the Nairobi Ngong river, situated on wastelands in the industrial area of the city between the Outer Ring Road and the North Airport Road and Mombasa road. Mukuru is divided into villages, including Mukuru Kwa Reuben, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Sinai, Paradise, Jamaica, Kingstone, Mariguini, Futata Nyayo and Kayaba. The population of the slum exceeds 100,000.
In the slums, families live, or at least survive, in tiny one-roomed corrugated iron shacks, measuring approximately 3 m x 3 m. Very few homes have electricity and up to twenty families might share a communal water tap and toilet latrine.
Bangladesh is the largest slum in the port city of Mombasa. It faces similar challenges to Kibera; limited economic prospects, and a lack of basic social services.