The Nubian Rights forum has been dedicated to advocating for the rights of minority groups in the country. Our physical location in Kibera allows us to see first-hand the living conditions of slum dwellers in the vicinity. Kibera is home to at least 300,000 people and is one of the most congested slums in the country. The residents of the slum do not have adequate access to basic needs such as water, there is no proper sanitation, and a majority of the labourers are casual labourers and depend on their daily earnings to put a meal on their tables. The level of awareness in the community concerning the global pandemic- COVID-19, which is currently affecting the country, is low and there are a lot of myths being spread especially about how black people are immune to the virus. In recent observations, there is minimal social distancing and the living conditions in the area do not allow for practical social distancing because of congestion.
While developed countries may be ready for a lockdown, the Nubian Rights Forum observes that a majority of towns in developing areas are not capable of sustainable living under lockdown. Settlers in the Kibera community work in the Juakali Industry and therefore, they rely on their daily earnings to make a living. Current happenings on the NEWS show that the settlers prefer to risk getting infected by the virus and continue working instead of staying home with no food or means to earn. Kibera, if hit with a lock down, will witness a challenge access to basic needs including; proper sanitation, adequate food and access to social amenities such as hospitals. It is also an observation that while awareness may increase the knowledge of the community on the virus and in turn motivate them to observe safety, the economic inhibitions in the slums may make it impossible for the community to adequately provide for their basic needs. We request that anyone willing to provide relief in the near future depending on the turn of events, do so.
We as the Nubian Rights Forum believe that small acts of humanity will go a long way in ensuring the community members are protected from the virus. This particular appeal is for purposes of hygiene items that can help keep the spread of the virus in check. These small acts will involve awareness creation on COVID-19, practical dos and don’ts and provision of preventive gears such as sanitizers and masks.
With the above submissions, we as the Nubian Right Forum believe that it would be prudent to try and ensure the community is well educated and adequately prepared for the pandemic in case it is not contained in time. We would like to invite our partners and other organizations that share this plight, to come together, and try aid in the preparedness of the community to handle the spread of the virus in their different capacities.
In line with this, we would like to welcome any group that can contribute to the objectives listed below to reach out and work together to save the Kibera community.
- sensitize the community on COVID-19
- Supply the community in kind with items such as water buckets and water tanks, sanitizers, tissue papers, soaps, gloves masks and handkerchiefs
- Supply the community with menstrual hygiene equipment and any other in kind donations.