Kianda 42 is one of the many communities that make up Kibera, located on the outskirts of Nairobi and one of the biggest suburbs on the African continent. In this slum of shanty houses, it is thought that over a million people live in precarious conditions and extreme poverty. Violence and infectious diseases, like HIV, Malaria or tuberculosis are everyday struggles and are the main causes of the shockingly high rate of premature deaths. The situation is made worse by the lack of hygiene and clean water that renders the streets, along with the constant flow of residual waters and piled-up rubbish, almost unwalkable.

The Kenyan government does not seem to care much about this secluded part of the population nor any of the other marginalized parts of the country for that matter. Public entities, such as the often-corrupt police, do not venture into the numerous labyrinths of metal and mud.

The vast majority of the people live on less than one dollar a day and must struggle against a reality characterized by unemployment and a spiraling population. Given the lack of food, education and health services, the future of those who live here is bleak. Nonetheless, in amongst the difficulties of the suburbs the people of Kibera fight on; finding ways to get by and managing to make a home of their slum.

These portraits tell their story…