Mukuru slum in NairobiA group of Kenyan women are fed up with the way that they have been living and are finally seeking to do something about it. The women, who live in an informal settlement called Mukuru, have planned to seize ownership of their slum by taking legal action, The Guardian reports.

“Living in Mukuru is difficult for women, Dorice Moseti, one of the 400,000 residents living in the slum, told the paper. “We have money; we want to upgrade. We are Kenyans and we have the right to have our land.”

In addition to the squatter’s rights litigation filed last September by Kenythe Kenyan NGO Muungano wa Wanavijiji, the woman have planned to launch legal proceedings against the slum’s landowners — private companies and several individuals — for maltreatment.

According to the woman, private ownership of Mukuru has only led to a series of problems. A building with appropriate sanitation facilities does not exist, forcing female slum inhabitants to travel long distances to find toilets, a huge sexual violence risk.

Moseti, who makes about 7 British pounds a month and lives in a one-bedroom shack, has gathered nearly 8,000 signatures from female slum residents who agree to testify in front o the national lands commission about the hardships of living without proper sanitation in Mukuru.

“We’ve had cases where an individual or five people have come together and said: ‘We want to sue these people for a specific portion of land.’ But in this case it’s the whole settlement, which is 450 acres, so it will be a first in history,” said Edith Kalela, an advocacy officer at a Kenyan NGO that works to upgrade slums.

The situation in Mukuru, unfortunately, is not uncommon. Kenyan governments are often criticized for their lack of action in improving slum life, even though they often promise to do more.

According to the Guardian, Moseti, hopes that her group’s lawsuit will burgeon Muungano’s initial proceedings by showcasing the negative aspects of private ownership on slum lands. Her case is expected to begin in December.

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  • The Comment

    I can not believe humans are made to live like this.

  • WhatIThink

    Well considering that the only reason Kenyans live in this slums is because they were kicked off the land by the British it only makes sense that they should want their land back. The current government has done nothing to redistribute the land taken by the British to make their own private game parks and tea plantations that still exist to this day. So most Kenyans, just like most Africans period are sharecroppers or peasant laborers (slaves) working sun up to sun down growing or harvesting cash crops for export. The governments own the majority of the land and the only people they appear willing to sell to are foreigners: Asian, Europeans and anybody else except Africans. They despise their own people and will do nothing to acknowledge their natural rights to the land. And this is why this slum exists after all these years of so called “independence”. But this is no different than most African countries, who have had the same experience as South Africa, where blacks are the majority but whites and foreigners still control 95% of the land and wealth.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with gender and is not limited to the slum itself but ALL of the land in Kenya.