Growing up in Mathare in 1980s one would meet Nairobi City Council workers cleaning the the toliets every morning including Sunday. But somewhere along the way, the council could no longer cope with the population demand. The culture of land grabbing also became habit among the village elders. Even the spaces allocated for public utility were grabbed while the administration watched.
The public toliets in Mathare were used by community to described exact location where one lived. Our house was between toliets 115 1nd 116. But they were demolished and the land sold to a mosque through irregular means. My family had lived on this land for 30 years.
But Rotary International, Rotary Foundation, Rotary Club Edina and Rotary Club of Nairobi District (District 9200) Lang’ata has teamed up to restore some of the remaining toilets. I am impressed with the initial plan and how they involved a local community group, Mathare Association. Compared with other projects working in Mathare, this has been more of working and impact to the community than workshops and talking. Many NGOs working in Mathare are famous for many workshops and seminars than real work on the ground. I believe other projects working in the area of water and sanitation should learn a lot from Rotary Foundation.
The project has gained the support of local youth groups which is a very difficult group to reach in slums. I salute all Rotarian allover the world for the good work in places like slums and community in general. – Simon