Life in Mathare

A series of ‘Foto Friday’ posts focusing on the lives of people living in extreme poverty around the world. Over 1 billion people across the globe live on the equivalent of less than $1 a day to meet all their needs. Being more aware of the lives of the world’s poor can help  us reevaluate the extent of our own hardships and build empathy and compassion.

The Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya, is home to over half a million people, many of whom live their entire lives without ever leaving its dirty, crowded and dangerous streets.

The photo above shows as typical metal shed latrine in Mathare.

In common with many slums across the world, there is no proper sewerage system and only a very limited drinking water supply. Almost non of the tiny, overcrowded homes have any form of toilets, so the common tin shed laterines, which simply empty into ditches running down the street, are the only place to go! Disease and vermin are the inevitable result.

Various charities are working with local people to provide suitable toilet facilities and basic hygiene and santitation in places like Mathare, mapping open sewers and installing new toilets.

Photo by sustainable sanitation via Flickr


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