The Problem: An intro to life in Kibera slum


What the World Bank says:

"The main problem in slums is lack of basic amenities. Nairobi's slum residents pay up to eleven times more for water sold by private vendors than those who have access to piped water."

Faced with too few, and overflowing pit latrines, "flying toilets" [where fecal matter is simply put in a bag and thrown into the street] are the norm, resulting in high child and maternal mortality rates, low productivity and high disease rates from waterborne diseases."

- World Bank working paper # 147[1]

No access to infrastructure, opportunity, or education.

Worldwide, more than one billion people live in slums, where they are often unable to meet their basic human needs. In many slums, hundreds of thousands of people are squeezed into small, disputed slivers of land, where they have few rights and can be forcibly removed.

People struggle to obtain their basic needs of clean water, food and sanitation, but it is the lack of tools of empowerment—skills training, credit, access to the internet, health education, and networks of opportunity—that inhibit them from escaping their living conditions.

Living Without Infrastructure

  • Higher unsanitary conditions, disease, mortality, poverty, crime, discrimination

  • Lower security, education, productivity, connection to the rest of society

What if you had no infrastructure?

But what if...

You gave slum dwellers access to water and sanitation? What if you gave them access to information, education, communication and opportunity?

Children born in slums begin life with the odds against them.

What if you treated them with dignity?

What would stop intrepid people from achieving lives of their own choosing?

Potential and talent exist everywhere. But opportunity and the tools to harness it are in too short supply in many parts of the world.



  • 1. World Bank Working paper # 147 Elvira Morella, Maria Emilia Freire, and Paul Dorosh