by Mercy Alomba
As many Kenyans continue to live below a dollar a day, those in slum areas are coming up with creative ways of dealing with the high cost of living.
With many earning as little as KShs. 100 ($1.16 USD) per day and with many needs such as house rent, water and electricity bills, food and many more, some have turned to farming in slums despite the fact that there is very little space in the crowded slum for gardening. These Kibera residents have started farming in sacks and polythene bags, growing vegetables both for income generation and for family consumption.
Four leaves of kales goes for five shillings and growing in sacks to sell in the slum cuts down on the cost of transport. With the soil in most cases readily available, all one has to buy is the sack, seedlings and manure.
In the Kibera village of Silanga, one man who runs a food kiosk of already cooked meals owns several polythene bags of kales, which he reveals that comes in handy, as most clients like vegetables and they help him get atleast 200 shillings daily. However, during dry seasons like now, he is forced to go to the market to get more kales. He's been planting and using the vegetables since the year 2009. He's also planted some at his homestead and some have even covered the roof-top of his house.
Such is the spirit of Kibera where residents use creativity and ingenunity to support themselves and build a better future.