Maisha ya Nairobi (part II)

Life in the city


Early hours of the morning this part of Nairobi looks halfway deserted. This is when you can now clearly see the spots where water is seeping out of the ground and the causes of the unimaginable stench. So, as you owners featuring City Planners finally prepare to deal with this long-damned, filthy, odoriferous dump site – that is even too restrictive a definition – I suggest you should pay a survey visit during bird hours. After all this is a public property. And as it is, it is in itself a menace to public health. I have said my own.

I stood at a distance while I watched The Njoroges at work. These are the men whose work is mainly underneath the vehicles. They are the craftmen who fix the engines, the gear boxes, front and back shock, clutch cables etc etc… I just think these fellows from Grogon work more passionately than any other. Basing my urguement on the environment under which they operate, I tend to believe it is more of passion than desperation. Njoroge lies over that muddy ground to fix that car to make a shilling while there’s a pretentious begger on the other side of town. And just so you know, this place is ever muddy, be it rainy be it sunny. Water from the ground exceeds the one from above so you can imagine how it looks like when the two merge. And not just that, septic waste water from the broken sewer, pools the area mercilessly. As if that isn’t enough, this one is also that place where upper town garbage is dumped. Do you see where am coming from? I know you do, no need asking but I had to for the sake of the few who still do not.


Permit me to offer you a birds eyes view of the conditions here; Clogged drains, stinky air, messy dump fields, to mention but a few. Health hazard right? right. Believe you me not even a fly nor a mosquito survives here for more than two nights.


I was talking to mama Njoroge the other day – a woman who makes foods just beside a broken sewer line. “I have to make ends meet.” She said. “The longer you stay in this place, the more you adjust and the more your body grows resistance to the odor.” She continued. Wait! did she just mean that you get used? who ever gets used to stench? Leave alone the stench, the site itself makes me want to throw up my entire stomach, liver plus the intestines. If I were to throw up right now as I’m writing this, certainly all that vomit would clog my eyes, ears and most especially my nose. You’re disgusted? Well, that’s how disgusting this place is. Like seriously, honestly, whose body adjusts to this kind? If you are a Grogonian, then you would know without doubt that you are the one.

Nairobi City is filthy, let no one deceive you. You remember the story of the man who cleaned the visible side of the cup neglecting the invisible? That is Nairobi for you.

Who is to clean? FoodForThought.

See you soon.

Jenny Shiqu

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