The exhibit displays a series of photos from Kibera slum, situated in Nairobi. It is one of the largest informal settlements in Africa and one of the most densely populated places on earth, and possibly one of the most contaminated and infectious places too. I was struck by heavy dirt, heaps of waste and pollution on the ground and in the air and general congestion everywhere. It is hard to believe that thousands of people not only survive in there but live their normal lives, raise their children and run their small businesses. Homeless animals wander around and mingle with people either alive or dead. On the street it is not difficult to spot or even step into animal and human faeces excavating contagious odour. Kibera looks like one big scourge contracting diseases and infections, and killing massively the young and the old, the human beings and animals.
Through the photos I submit I wish to raise global awareness about the hazardous living conditions in slum dwellings that threaten the health and lives of thousands of people, animals, and degrade the environment and nature. Kibera dwelling is just one example but clearly reflecting the most prominent and serious health and environment concerns aggravating in many poor societies with dense and overcrowded urban conditions.
People residing in slums, like Kibera, face many problems like improper sanitation, poor water, lack of drainage and sewage, primitive housing, unhygienic health and environmental conditions. They are engaged in eking out their daily lives, always below the poverty line, by touching any work that can bring them even some pennies, from construction laborers, shoe sellers, domestic helps, to garbage pickers and burners. In their utterly unhygienic, gloomy, dismal and dehumanized living conditions it is virtually impossible to remain healthy and clean. The collected garbage – solid and human waste, animal and human feaces, plastic bags spread diseases rapidly and contaminate the environment, affecting health of everybody, children, young and old.
This photo exhibition seeks to make people aware of the slums problems and to stimulate the action that can be effective if with combined efforts at different levels. The challenges the slums face are of different nature and therefore multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach is needed and mobilization of many efforts and resources to overcome them, and succeed in improving the slum dwellers’ health and lives, as many of them deserve.
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