Living in Nairobi

Nairobi is Kenya’s capital and largest cosmopolitan city. It is a city where tourists enjoy luxury hotels with pampered treatment. It is also a city where local residents live in settlements without privacy in sanitation facilities.

Most of Nairobi’s population lives in settlements or slums without clean water, private sanitation facilities, adequate health care, or schools. Conditions such as these create an environment subject to violent crimes. In this environment, women and girls are the most vulnerable.

Women and girls’ need for privacy in sanitation facilities are different from men’s. Without such privacy they are at risk of rape and physical or psychological violence. One woman said after she had been assaulted,

“I didn’t report it to the police. Even if I did, what good would it do? It wouldn’t change anything.”

Security officials have reportedly added to the violence faced by the residence of these settlements.

A UN Independent Expert on human rights obligations said,

“. . . Sanitation is not just about health, housing, education, work, gender equality, and the ability to survive. Sanitation . . . evokes the concept of human dignity . . .”

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