14. Aug. 2020
The Grundfos Foundation has granted USD 100,000 to the Human Needs Project, covering four months of free WASH services to 80,000 residents of the Kibera slum in Kenya's capitol, Nairobi.

The Kibera slum is predicted to become one of the major epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak in the coming days, weeks and months. It is well established that Africa is only just at the beginning of its pandemic curve, and the COVID-19 outbreak will have particularly devastating effects on Kibera’s residents.

Since lockdown early April, residents in Kibera have been unable to go to work. In addition to the lack of clean water, quality sanitation facilities, and health services, social distancing is an uphill battle with tight living quarters and cultural resistance to quick behavioral change.

Around 80,000 people live close together with very poor water and sanitation infrastructure in the Gatwekera Village within the Kibera settlement. Photo: Poul Due Jensen Foundation

Kibera Town Centre

Kibera, located in Nairobi, Kenya, is one of the largest slums in Africa and home to the Kibera Town Centre, an all-in-one infrastructure which services the residents:

  • Basic services: clean drinking water, toilets, showers, and laundry
  • Empowerment services: business skills training, micro-credit, a wifi café, health kiosk, and a green marketplace
Kibera Town Centre’s ambition is to become environmentally, financially and technically sustainable, but since the lockdown was imposed it has had to close all revenue-creating services to focus directly on humanitarian support for the community. Since the onset of COVID-19, the Centre has served the community free of charge:
  • Over 55,000 people have received free clean, treated water services
  • There have been over 50,000 uses of its toilets and showers
  • Over 10,000 school children have used newly installed foot pedal operated hand wash stations
  • Over 150,000 residents of Kibera have been approached with COVID-19 awareness & prevention campaigns via social media, radio, loudspeakers and bulk sms

Kibera Town Centre offers a number of services to the slum area residents. Photo: Poul Due Jensen Foundation

The Foundation’s grant will finance the next four months’ services:

  • Provide free clean and safe treated drinking water to 80,000 residents of Gatwekera Village
  • Provide access to free dignified flushing toilets and hot showers to 80,000 Kibera residents
  • Sustain the Kibera Town Centre until COVID-19 passes and it can re-open all center operations and start generating revenue
"More than one billion people worldwide live in precarious unplanned settlements, or “slums.” By 2030, this figure will double to two billion ."
UN Habitat