Kenya: the fight for water, a valuable slum commodity

by IRIN News

Mathare slum in Nairobi is one of the biggest informal settlements in Africa. It has faced increasing difficulties in obtaining water due to cuts by official suppliers as well as the actions of cartels, gangs and illegal vendors. Photo: Julius Mwelu/IRIN

When residents of Mathare slum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi staged a recent protest over a five-day water shortage, the police moved to break the demonstration, firing teargas and arresting some of the protestors.

The 31 July police action in Bondeni area, however, did not address the cause of the problem – increasing difficulties in obtaining water due to cuts by official suppliers as well as the actions of cartels, gangs and illegal vendors.