Posts Tagged ‘Kibera’

Back in Kibera, two months later

February 19, 2008

Kibera is relatively quiet on this hot February day, almost 2 months after the Kenyan Presidential election, but the rocks on top of tin rooves and stories of residents reveal what people have been through.

Today is the first time I’ve seen William (a nurse aide at one of our clinics) since we worked together in December, just before the election. At the time he reported: “The biggest challenge for our business in this political era is that there is a lot of insecurity. But I think that is just during this campaign period and after that I think everything will be ok.”

Unfortunately William was wrong in his prediction (along with most of the world). Kibera was one of the hardest hit areas in the post-election violence, which has claimed over 1,000 lives and destroyed parts of the country. “We were all sick, we were afraid all the time,” William describes. Perhaps most telling is William’s three year old son , Meshah, who still won’t leave his his father’s side:

William and his partner Millicent are working hard to keep their business going, but most of their customers have lost their incomes and are unable to pay for services. And though things are calm at the moment, William reminds me that there is a long road ahead: “Everyone is watching the Annan mediation team. Everything depends on what they can do, otherwise things will go right back to chaos.”