Description of the Project Setting

Kenya is still a poor developing country with a Human Development Index of 0.509, putting the country at position 143 out of 185 – one of the lowest in the world and half of Kenyans live in absolute poverty. The important agricultural sector is one of the least developed and largely inefficient, employing 75 percent of the workforce compared to less than 3 percent in the food secure developed countries.

Kenya has a diverse population that includes most major ethno-racial and linguistic groups found in Africa. There are an estimated 42 different communities, with Bantus (67%) and Nilotes (30%) constituting the majority of local residents. Cushitic groups also form a small ethnic minority as do Arabs, Indians and Europeans

According to the U.S. CIA, ethnic groups in the nation are represented as follows: Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo13%, Kalenjin12%, Kamba 11%, Ksii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, and non-African 1%. The country has a young population, with 73% of residents aged below 30 years due to rapid population growth; from 2.9 million to 40 million inhabitants over the last century.

 Mathare slumMathare Slum

Mathare is one of the oldest slums in Nairobi City County. It is a home of over half a million inhabitants. The inhabitants live in shanties built using mud, cartons, tins and old iron sheets. The shanties are of standard four by four metres. Each of these has an average of eight family members. During the day the beddings are shoved in a corner of the shack to provide space for cooking and visitors. At night the place is turned into dormitory with no secrecy at all. When it is hot the shanty is uninhabitable and when cold they have to contend with chilly weather. This accounts for high rate of respiratory problems.

Mathare slums

Mathare like any other slum in the world lacks basic necessities like toilets, piped water, sewerage system, access roads and social amenities. Most of the inhabitants lack basic needs and are semi-illiterate as well. Therefore, there is a need to transform lives of living in this dehumanizing environment.

Although everyone has a right to quality life, not all are fortunate to lead a comfortable life. Despite of Kenyan government striving to improve living standards and alleviation of poverty, many people are still living below the poverty line. The situation is made worse by pandemics like HIV/AIDS, conflicts like the 2007/2008 post election violence and unfair distribution of resources.

In African traditional society, social responsibility is a norm that enhances harmony in communal life. Thus, sharing and hospitality are inseparable to life itself and everyone is obliged to help one another. Unlike the olden days the society has changed and become individualistic. Consequently, proper communal coordination is wanting, leading to lack of genuine responsibility and sensitivity to the needs of the others.