Kibera Public Space
Project 04 (KPSP 04)
Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi, if not Africa, and is infamous for its scale, location, history, and degraded conditions. Kibera is just four kilometers from downtown Nairobi and occupies a space two-thirds the size of New York City's Central Park. Kibera has no formal trash collection system and limited sanitation facilities. Many residents live on less than USD$1 a day and unemployment and crime rates are high. Land tenure is precarious and housing density leaves little traditional open space for children to play or communities to gather. KDI recognizes that poverty in Kibera involves a complex set of interconnected problems — financial, environmental, physical, political, and social — but also acknowledges Kibera's assets: community activism, informal economies and entrepreneurship.
In Spring 2012, the community-based group Slum Care, and their proposed site at the border of the Lindi and Laini Saba villages, were chosen from a pool of applicants. The site located adjacent to a bridge that connects the neighboring villages and along the confluence of two tributaries of the Ngong River. The buildable area of the site is small, and is currently used as a pedestrian transportation route from houses to the main road. The site also houses a pit-latrine and a charcoal and scrap metal business.
Community design workshops began in July 2012. During this process KDI helped create two new community-based groups from residents living adjacent to the site: Ndovu Laini Saba/Lindi Development Group and Usalama Bridge Youth Reform. KPSP 04 is our first site with a large youth contingent that brings exciting ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit, greatly enhancing the project site. After two months of design workshops the final concept of the project includes: a sanitation block, two multipurpose centers, a small playground, and a recreational area.
KDI, Slum Care, Ndovu, and Usalama led a community clean up and formal launch at the end of September 2012. Construction began with installation of the gabions that stabilized the buildable area and prevents flooding into neighboring houses and the project site. In addition, a new bridge was constructed between the two major banks of the project site, improving an existing access path and connecting the multipurpose area to the playground area. The multi-purpose building houses two centers, one to be used as a babycare facility by the community group Ndovu, the other to be transformed into a cyber café and learning center by the youth group Usalama Bridge Youth Reform. The sanitation block, which is connected to municipal sewer lines, houses four toilets and two showers and is run by Slum Care.
KPSP04 was opened in April 2013.