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Korogocho slum dwellers tell their story

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 16 – While Kenyans crawl into their tribal cocoons at the slightest provocation, Elizabeth Njeri who was born in Korogocho 56 years ago intimates she is a ‘Korogochian’.

She knows no other home and she has lived in Korogocho all her life. Her children are grown up and have gone their separate ways but this is where they come home.

Capital FM visited Korogocho under the Slum Radio Project, an Amnesty International campaign which is roping in the media seeking to bring issues affecting slums into the national debate.

According to Amnesty, up to 2 million people live in informal settlements and slums in Nairobi; in inadequate housing with little access to clean water, sanitation, health care, schools and other essential services.

“The one single thing that binds us together as the people of this area are our problems, not the languages we speak or where we came from” said Njeri.

With the help of Koch FM, a community radio station in Korogocho we were lucky to meet Njeri; she is a women leader, a matriarch in the slum and her life tells the story of Korogocho. She however downplayed her plight saying the youth bear the brunt of slum life.

“They are young; their whole lives are ahead of them but they are without hope,” she lamented. “Many of them drop out of school after primary education and they take to alcohol and drug abuse.

The girls get married or go into prostitution,” she added.

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Njeri strongly believes that education can provide children in informal settlement with a ticket out of the slums and she has dedicated herself to helping the neediest case by taking them into her home and getting help from well-wishers to pay for their school fees.

In this way Njeri says she can change Korogocho on child at a time.


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