Kib­era youths heckle MCA as Kidero dis­trib­utes 23 tanks

‘We want Akuk to go be­cause he has let us down. We were not con­sulted on any­thing’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Nairobi - CHRISPINUS WEKESA @Chrispi­nusW

A group of Kib­era youths on Satur­day dis­rupted an event presided over by Nairobi Gov­er­nor Evans Kidero.

Kidero and Nyayo Highrise MCA Mau­rice Akuk had gone to the Un­dugu grounds in Kib­era to hand over 23 wa­ter tanks to youths and women’s groups. But youths heck­led Akuk.

“We want Akuk to go. Akuk must go be­cause he has let us down. Even in to­day’s event, no lo­cal leader was con­sulted and that’s an in­sult to us,” a res­i­dent said.

Akuk was not al­lowed to de­liver his speech.

But Kidero ad­dressed the youths. He said, “Th­ese tanks will help you store wa­ter for fu­ture use so you can have clean wa­ter. Main­tain them so they can be of help to you and your chil­dren.”

The tanks have a ca­pac­ity of 10,000 litres each.

Lo­cal lead­ers urged Kidero to start in­come gen­er­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for the youth.

Wa­ter pro­vi­sion in the slums has been prob­lem­atic due to il­le­gal con­nec­tions.

Kidero said he will or­gan­ise a haram­bee for women’s groups to start projects.

As soon as he com­pleted his speech, he was whisked away by his se­cu­rity de­tail.

The youths then rolled away the tanks. In the process, some tanks were de­stroyed and some cars were dam­aged.

Over the years, the Kib­era slum has been known for “fly­ing toi­lets”, where lo­cals would help them­selves in black poly­thene bags and toss them onto other peo­ple’s rooftops, out on the streets and into drainage trenches.

NGOs and the gov­ern­ment have started projects to re­place the fly­ing toi­lets.

The im­proper dis­posal of hu­man waste has been blamed for fre­quent out­breaks of di­ar­rhoea and wa­ter- borne dis­eases in the slum.

Un­til fi­nan­cial scan­dals rocked the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice, the gov­ern­ment planned to build 182 com­mu­nal toi­let blocks in the slum and some had al­ready been com­pleted.

There was also a Swedish firm, Peep­oople, that last year used Kib­era as a test­ing ground for the Peepoo, a biodegrad­able, sin­gle-use toi­let that could one day pro­vide a cheap, smart fix for the world’s bil­lion slum dwellers.

Re­ports have stated about 17 mil­lion Kenyans lack ac­cess to safe drink­ing wa­ter. The ma­jor­ity of them are from the North­east­ern re­gion, some parts of Rift Val­ley, East­ern as well as the Coast.

/CHRISPINUS WEKESA

Kib­era youths cart away a wa­ter tank do­nated by the Nairobi gov­ern­ment on Satur­day

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