Walking through any urban informal settlement an outsider will see ‘disaster waiting happen’ scenes. Looking at small children playing cooking games with fire, women washing clothes in dirty river, haphazard crossing of Juja Road, open electric wires, possibility of being mugged in dark place, regular fire outbreaks and people living next to big rocks. The dangers posed broken sewer and open ones are even great incase of major disease outbreak. All these are scenes one will encounter while walking in Mathare.
There have been cases of fire outbreaks which led to loss of life and this was contributed by lack of access road in the inner parts of the community; There are no emergency numbers readily available in the community that people can call for assistance. When assistance is called it takes longer than usual since most people will expect community leaders to be the person to call.
Those who gets injured through various activities both good and back have to seek assistance in far places since the health centres near the community do not operate of 24 hrs basis. This mean that if a disaster strikes at night then it is most likely that number of causalities will be very high compared with day time. Availing first aid kits in strategic points within the community can help reduce number of casualities. While there has been investments in improving infrastructure, very little has been done to deal with disaster. Having emergency telephone/mobile number people can all and erecting first aid centre can help reduce the number of causalities. – Simon