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EXCLUSIVE: Open sewers hurts business opportunities at Kibera slums

The enduring presence of sewage water in Kibra represents a distressing reality that the slum’s inhabitants must continually face.

The flow of sewer water adjacent to their dwellings exposes their families to potential risks.

While some have become accustomed to having sewage in close proximity to their homes, a considerable number are unaccustomed to navigating through raw sewage on a daily basis.

A spot-check by Nairobi News has shown the area around Fort Jesus in Kibera where businesses are grappling with challenges as individuals seek alternate routes to avoid walking on the sewage.

When interviewed by Nairobi News, Frank Martin, a resident, shares the detrimental impact on his business.

“I operate a pool establishment along the road, and my business is dwindling because people are unwilling to cross or wade through sewage to reach my location,” Martin told Nairobi News.

“The sewage predicament has persisted for a span of over two years, often resulting in bursts, especially during the rainy season. Despite attempts to mitigate the issue, the magnitude of the problem often proves overwhelming” added Franc.

The absence of essential amenities such as clean water, proper sanitation facilities, and an efficient drainage system continues to be a prevailing issue that significantly affects Kibra’s residents.

Felix Odiwuor Otieno, a gas vendor, candidly shares his personal struggles with sewage.

“My business is suffering due to the sewage burst. Customers are hesitant to visit my shop as they are reluctant to traverse the sewage water that has flooded the road,” Otieno told Nairobi News.

While local leaders are cognizant of the situation, their responsiveness appears limited, despite the community’s impassioned pleas.

There is an escalating concern regarding the potential outbreak of diseases, notably cholera, due to the prolonged existence of this predicament.

“I earnestly beseech our leaders to take decisive action. We entrusted them with the responsibility of effecting change through policy adjustments, yet it seems our appeals are falling on deaf ears,” added Otineo,

Although Kibra slum lies within the bounds of the Nairobi constituency and has at times garnered unwelcome attention, it is crucial to recognize that its residents are active voters who merit a life imbued with dignity and esteem.

It is imperative that appropriate policies are instituted to avert perpetual censure from the global community and to enhance the quality of life within the locality.

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