Local2Global Advocates for Food Sovereignty

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nairobi: An example of the worst Humanity has to Offer; Racism, Class Division and Mysogyny

Okay, here is the scoop on Nairobi; it is a perfectly hateful example of the worst humanity has to offer: racism, deep class divisions , and misogyny. A small percentage of foreigners, expatriates, European descendants, Asians, Middle Easterners and some Black Africans living a vaulted lifestyle, driving big cars (on bad roads), living in villas with servants, while most people, Black Africans,     70 % live in the slums.

The situation of slum dwellers ranges from "pathetic, " their words, with no city services, living in sewage, no security, subject to rapes, no latrines, no access to education,  to a more middle class kind of poverty with intact families, food, and education through  college and a beautiful community life.

One young woman at one of the homes in the slum we visited where the grandfather raised dairy cows told us "How loving people were in the slums." Other parts of the slum were very insecure. (Her grandfather raised his dairy cows in the slum with zero grazing; he went out everyday to harvest napier grass that grew near his home by chance. He sold milk from these cows and made enough to pay school fees for primary and secondary school for his granddaughter. He was an amazing person. He couldn't afford college, so his granddaughter was "waiting" to go to college.)

The slums are covered with garbage. There is garbage everywhere. Wages are low and jobs are scarce. The small percentage of people who get jobs work hard for anywhere form $1.00 to $2.00 a day, 6 days a week, with no benefits of any kind or rights to decent working conditions; it is virtual slavery. The only reason people do it is because they don't have a choice.This is the most hateful city I have ever lived in except for my visits to South Africa where the  class prejudice and racism is yet worse. I could sugar coat it for you, but the situation is bad and this is pretty much the case throughout East Africa although the class division may be deeper and more striking in Nairobi with all the expatriates living here working for the UN and foreign NGOs.

Climate change is making things worse and one of the factors destroying  livelihoods in the rural areas and forcing people to move to the city. Because there are no jobs, these migrants from the rural area end up in the slums.

With the industrialized countries only increasing rather than reducing their emissions which are causing global warming, the situation here is going to get worse, not better. More people will be forced from rural areas to the cities or die. There are no jobs in the cities and no city services.

Global Warming is hitting Africa hard already and is predicted by the experts to hit Africa hardest in the world. Global Warming is predicted to reduce agricultural productivity in Africa by 80%. One expert, Pablo Solon, predicts 80 % of Africa's people will die due to the effects of global warming.

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