NAIROBI, Kenya (BP)--Sixty-six "poor urban settlements" -- some small, some enormous -- bump against Nairobi's sleek, downtown skyline like moths circling a light bulb.
Kibera, a 6-kilometer-long expanse of tin-roofed shacks following the railway, is home to 1 million people -- one of the largest slums in the world. Mathare counts at least 500,000 people. Dandora surrounds a city dump that stretches as far as the eye can see (see "No throwaway people" story here).
Photo from IMB
The "poor urban settlements" contain more than half of the 4 million people (some say 5 million) in Kenya's capital city, but they occupy only part of the urban landscape.
Extensive middle-class and upscale communities lie west of Nairobi's central business district -- roughly where white Europeans lived during former British colonial rule. The city center pulses with the energy of business, universities, embassies, national government, culture and night life.
Nairobi is the economic, political and cultural capital of East Africa. Most multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations and Christian mission groups involved in the region base offices there.
"It's a continental city ..." Read More