, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Francisca Muthoki was seated beside one of the inroads heading towards Kijiji slum in Langata on Thursday, a day after their rescue camp was closed.
She was holding her six-month old baby and seemed to be in deep thought.
“Life is hard,” those were her first words, during an interview with the Capital FM News.
She is among 6,000 other victims of the fire incident that burnt almost the entire slum late last month.
Most of them lost everything and three weeks later, life is no different.
“Other than some three blankets and utensils, I did not receive anything to help me resume back my usual life,” the mother of two said.
Her sentiments were shared by the slum ‘owners’ who wondered “what happened to Sh70 million the government promised.”
“We are asking ourselves where the money went to,” she asserted.
Her biggest worry is that caution issued by landlords, who say they will increase rent, “since the government did not give them enough building materials.”
– Night in the cold –
Most residents are not yet out of the woods since a majority of their houses are yet to be completed.
A spot check by Capital FM News confirmed that majority of the residents spend the night in the cold, while some went to religious institutions after their camp at Ngei Primary School was closed.
“The government has only given eight iron sheets for each house. That cannot be enough,” a resident of the slum, Josephat Mugambi said.
According to him, some spent their night along the pavements.
A humanitarian crisis is also looming in the village once the residents return, since there is no drainage system, while the populous slum has three toilets only.
“If it rains today, there will be a huge problem. Houses will get flooded leading to chaos,” Wallace Mureithi, a landlord said.
They also want the government to honour its promise to deploy the National Youth Service so that they can assist in construction.
Three people lost their lives during the January 29 fire incident.