Coach House Geography

Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 13 other followers

Archive for the ‘Kibera’ Category

A new post from Kibera

Posted by Lindy on January 4, 2012

How they get warm water, food and beads for sale, in exchange for collecting bringing rubbish! A great example of management resources and also reducing the need for oil or wood in their homes.

Kibera cooker


Posted in Kibera, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

Kibera – cash for trash – a new video

Posted by Lindy on November 14, 2011


Posted in Appropriate technology, Kibera, Recycling, Sustainability, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

Providing an Agricultural Answer to Nature’s Call

Posted by Lindy on October 18, 2011


Posted in Appropriate technology, Development, Fragile environments, Global warming, Human geography, IGCSE, Kibera, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Another great scheme for Kibera from Practical action

Posted by Lindy on October 6, 2011

An unusual power shower

More than 750,000 people live on Africa’s largest informal settlement Kibera, where it was not usual for more than 200 people to share a pit latrine, which often overflow and are emptied into a river where children play. The alternative was ‘flying toilets; people left with little choice but to use plastic or paper bags as toilets and then throw them out of the home.

Diseases such as typhoid and cholera thrive in these conditions and children are especially vulnerable. According to the United Nations, worldwide, a child dies every 15 seconds from these diseases.

One project which has proved incredibly popular is working with communities to build and run a shower and toilet block. The waste passes into a thick, concrete chamber, producing methane, which is connected to a water heating system for the showers.

The community runs this scheme and even employs a caretaker and cleaner. As well as employing people to keep the toilets clean and tidy, the toilets and showers have had another major effect on the community; the areas has become a hive of social activity. Throughout the day the steps are bustling with people as women and mothers meet while the steps give children somewhere to play.

Over the course of a week, more than 2,700 people visit the toilets (395 per day) and 290 people use the showers (41 per week).

Posted in Bio-enenrgy, Kibera, Renewable, Solution to problems, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

Kenya e-Learning Centre Opened in Kibera

Posted by Lindy on October 2, 2011

The European Union in partnership with Amref yesterday commissioned an e-learning centre for nurses in a move aimed at improving the provision of health care. The centre is the first of its kind in the country where enrolled nurses (basic level trained) will undertake four module sessions in two years to qualify for diploma certificates ( high level training). The programme seeks to reduce the cost of training for nurses and at the same time minimise time taken for one to complete a full course for a registered nurse. Neelie hailed the achievements of ICT in development and challenged the students to use locally available appliances like mobile phones to undertake sessions ahead of their tutors. More than 100 e-learning centres have been established in various rural parts of the country and 27 nursing schools have adopted the programme.

Posted in Development, Economic geography, Kibera, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

The Peepoople – a safe solution to poor sanitation

Posted by Lindy on September 8, 2011

Follow this link for the slide show that goes with this article:

“They call me ‘Mama Poo’” Anne told me matter-of-factly as we strolled through a dusty pathway in Silanga, a small neighbourhood in the expansive Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya. “And I like that,” she added.

Anne Nudge is a Sales Representative for Peepoople AB, a Swedish social enterprise that, last October, launched a pilot project in Silanga, marketing and selling “The Peepoo”– a single-use, personal toilet that sanitizes human waste quickly, preventing it from contaminating the surrounding environment. After just a few weeks, the bag transforms the waste into a nutrient-rich fertilizer. (This then gets used in bag-gardens – more later). It works because the inner bag contains a cheap chemical urea that breaks down and kills all the bugs in the poor in just 3 weeks. By this time the plactic has biodegraded and you have safe compost.

The Peepoo bags, which sell at a subsidized (by PeePoople) cost of three Kenyan Shillings each (2 pence English), are used at home. They might seem basic but and it actually strictly adheres to the World Health Organization’s definition of sanitation- isolating waste from humans, isolating it from flies and animals, and inoculating the pathogens before it returns to environment. ( see pictures of peepoo bags here: )

While treated bags may seem a rudimentary, even crude form of sanitation, looking at the alternatives make the solution seem a little less far fetched. The first option for many slum dwellers are the overcrowded, unsanitary, and often unsafe public toilets- simple elevated wooden or tin shacks with holes in the floor- which breed disease and sometimes serve up to 300, even 500 households. ( follow this link to see why they don’t like the public tioete – scroll down to see some really bad pictures! )

The second, and less attractive option, are “flying toilets,” tiny grocery bags that, after usage, are carelessly thrown into the street or alley, where it seeps back into the ground.

Posted in Appropriate technology, Kibera, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Kenya loses opportunity to save billions in slum upgrading

Posted by Lindy on February 25, 2011

Published on 21/02/2011

By Dann Okoth

The Government has squandered an opportunity to save billions of shillings and create employment for tens of thousands of youth in slum upgrading projects.

The country would have saved half the amount it spent in the project had it adopted the in situ slum upgrading system as suggested in the original Kenya Slum Upgrading Project report the Financial Journal can reveal. The in situ slum upgrading system entails a participatory approach between slum dwellers and developers

The State has earmarked Sh880 billion for slum upgrading projects across the country in a 15-year plan to replace slums with affordable housing, but experts say the cost would be far much less had the State involved slum dwellers in the construction process.

Accroding the a recent report, it would have been ten times cheaper, for instance, in Kibera slums, where 10,000 units would have been upgraded at a cost of only Sh1 billion. The project would have entailed using cheap but durable building materials and labour from the slum dwellers. What would have been  required of the Government was to service land (install water, electricity and road infrastructure).

Already the Government has spent a whopping Sh2 billion to relocate 1,000 households to the decanting site in Langata in phase one of the Kibera slum upgrading project co-funded by UN-Habitat, the government and other donors. The project is expected be completed in seven phases.

The government opted to go for corporate slum upgrading where they hoped to provide the slum dwellers with two bed-roomed flats.

The particiapatory approach was applied in estates like Dandora, Mathare 4A and Umoja where the government provided services land complete with road infrastructure, water and sewerage services, and electricity at very low cost to the exchequer.

Posted in Development, Kibera, Solution to problems, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

Kenya: the World Cup goes solar in Africa’s largest slum

Posted by Lindy on June 27, 2010

Posted by GetSolar Staff in Thursday, June 24th 2010

The youths from the Kibera Community Youth Programme (KYCP), a registered community based organization in Nairobi’s populous Kibera slum, have teamed up with Solafrica – a Swiss-based non-profit organization that campaigns for the adoption of solar technology – to provide a solar powered big screen television set at a public hall where up to 1,000 slum dwellers without televisions or electricity can enjoy the first World Cup staged in Africa without paying a single cent.

The technology that powers the TV is called, by the two groups, a “Solar Power Station.” It’s a small, plug-in device that captures the sun’s energy through the use of solar panels. There’s no complex wiring, to boot. According to KCYP’s solar project manager, Elizabeth Otieno, the station is essentially a box with solar panels and rechargeable batteries. When fully charged, the batteries can be used for six to 10 hours. The system can also be used to power other devices like lights or cell phones.

“The Kibera youth’s have now conquered the power of the sun,” said Executive Director of Solafrica Joshiah Ramogi, whose group has trained nearly 30 of Kibera’s youth to install solar power systems and make other energy products, like LED lamps, at a 2007 workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. The lamps will be sold in both Kibera and Switzerland. As for the goal of this solar power project, Romogi explains: ‘the organization is especially rooting for the adoption of the solar lamp in place of the widely used kerosene lamp that yields dim light and produces a toxic smoke that predisposes users to respiratory ailments. In very poorly ventilated dwellings, the kerosene lamp poses the further risk

Posted in Appropriate technology, Development, IGCSE, Kibera, Sustainability, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

When the Promised land isn’t all promising By Silvano Ateka

Posted by Lindy on May 30, 2010

It was a journey reminiscent of the Israelites leaving Egypt for the Promised Land – if fact some people are beginning to call the flats Canaan.

On that dusty September afternoon, last year, residents like Ruth Njeri left their mud hovels in the sprawling Kibera slum, and took a 20-minute ride to their ‘paradise’, where more than 300 little palaces awaited them.

The relocation was the first in the slum, and part of a series of slum upgrading projects in the country that are hoped to phase out informal settlements.

Although months have passed since that exciting afternoon for Njeri and dozens others who left their shacks for high-rise flats, an aura of nostalgia still hangs thickly over the new estate. Njeri misses the camaraderie she once shared with her neighbours in the slum, that she misses most. “I miss my old friends,” she says.


1. For Njeri, life in the new flats has been smooth but coupled with the challenges of adjusting to an ‘unfriendly’ environment. She says she is yet to get used to sharing a house with people she can hardly get along with. Njeri isn’t alone in the predicament. Many residents have  to live with what they describe as ‘unfriendly housemates’, with whom they have to share facilities like kitchen and bathrooms.

2. More than six months down the line, some flats are yet to be supplied with electricity.

3. Ben Nyongesa admits to finding life in the new estate ‘a bit harder’ compared to that of the slums, where his small business thrived, thanks to the droves of people trekking in and out of the vast slum. Here the population is relatively smaller. “I now rely on luck to put food on the table. But it is a better home, nonetheless. More secure and comfortable,” he says.

4. Although glad to have benefited from the programme, Wanjala is disturbed by what he sees as ‘outsiders’ bribing their way into the new houses. A quick look around the houses lends some credence to his claims. An array of expensive vehicles line the parking lot, a sign there may be more than just former slum dwellers who now occupy the flats.

Posted in Development, Human geography, IGCSE, Kibera, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

New from Rose Red School in Kibera

Posted by Lindy on May 8, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010
Red Rose opens for Term II 2010
It is the first week of 2nd term in this year’s calendar. Most of the pupils have reported back to school from Easter holidays. As a Red-rose community, we are happy because all our pupils have reported to school in good health. Learning has begun as usual in all the classes and the teachers very busy preparing the learning from day to day activities.
Though the term has begun smoothly, the July winter has begun in a high note. The weather is quiet cold in such a way that all the pupils must be wearing sweaters so hat they do not shiver from the cold. During the early morning, there is always some drizzling which makes the compound muddy.
Red-rose has also formed some clubs whereby the children are taught on various life skills. One of the club is Health Club led by Teacher Christine whereby the children are taught in various matters concerning hygiene and how the to take care of themselves. Another club is Lit World Girls Club led by Teacher Rose.
We are also glad because we received a new teacher by the name Teacher Linah who will be assisting Teacher Musau in handling the children in Nursery class. Our standard four is also underway and it’s about to be completed. The construction of the new school toilets is over and we really appreciate the Children of Kibera Organization sponsors at large because this has minimized movement among our pupils and it has minimized time wastage in between the lessons
Follow them on

Posted in Development, IGCSE, Kibera, Solution to problems, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »