If you are visiting Kibera, avoid these dangerous spots at all costs
As the sun rises in the morning, Usafiri, Railways, Biashara and Kilele street areas in Kibera slum are a bee-hive of activities.
Everyone going about their businesses before the sun sets, so they can lock themselves back in their tiny roofed shacks for safety.
As you walk along the dirt paths littered with excrement filled plastic bags and other waste products, music blares as street vendors are busy frying potatoes, doughnuts, selling tins of charcoal, barbecued fish and other income generating businesses. School going children are seen playing all over the place, some of whom, the locals say deliberately dropped out of school.
One thing a tourist or guest in the area, especially women, may not be aware of is that these are highly risky places to be avoided at all cost especially if you are unaccompanied. According to the locals who were afraid to speak due to security concerns, these places are considered very dangerous, hazardous and insecure.
Criminal activities such prostitution, rape, murder and assault are so rampant, during the day, but is the norm at night. The reason residents are forced to be indoors by 7pm and open their doors at 6am in the morning.
Men, women, children and even security agencies, according to the residents, are not spared by members of these organized gangs said to be primary and secondary school dropouts who have taken control of these areas.
Due to poor policing in the area, the locals complain that these boys, mostly their own children who don’t listen to any advice, arm themselves with knives, machetes and unlicensed pistols which they don’t hesitate to use under the slightest provocation.
“We are forced to work between 6am and 7pm then close our businesses. Otherwise you get assaulted and robbed. That’s the only way we protect our own children,” says one John, a fish monger.
In order to elicit adequate information concerning the state of the matters in the area from the right people, Nairobi News also spoke to a reformed criminal who could only speak on condition of anonymity.
Peter Mwaura (not his real name), 24, says he joined the gang when he was only eight years due to peer influence. Having been raised up by a single mother who often couldn’t fend for him, Peter says he had to look for other ways to survive.
“Leaving the group was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. Though it was not easy initially, it has been worth the while. I can now eat and sleep peacefully though my previous actions sometimes still haunt me. I raped, assaulted, stole and even killed innocent residents. You can never leave the gang and walk freely around here. I have personally been assaulted several times and warned against talking, failure to which my mum will have to pay with her dear life,” he says.
Another resident, Eunice Mukemi, a cereals vendor and mother to a five-year-old daughter, says she has been forced to work within the limited time scheduled.
And to make up for the limited time, she is forced to hawk some of her products to make profit.
“Most of these boys start drinking, consume cheap drugs and sniffing glue early in the morning. Cases of violence, crime, assault and rape are all too common. Recently, a man was stabbed to death when he caught some boys raping a certain girl at around 7:30pm,” she recounts.
Ronald Onyango, a security man, says he once witnessed a boy being killed and his private parts chopped off and the eyes gorged out early one morning.
“I am so lucky to be alive and tell the story. The boy, who is not even buried yet, was around 16 or 17 years. He was in a hurry going somewhere when he was ambushed by a group of around seven boys.
“Those boys were heartless. They were so high that before stabbing the young boy to death, they made fun of him first. I couldn’t do anything because my life was at risk too. It was the first time I witnessed a human being killed. May God forgive them,” says the devastated Ronald.