Local variables describing poverty and wellbeing among residents of Kibra slum; Nairobi, Kenya


Wanjiku N. Njagi
Charity I. Irungu
Peter Koome


The purpose of this article is to present a contextual definition of poverty derived from research conducted in 2022 by the author among the residents of Kibra slum in Nairobi Kenya also known as Kibera.  To aid in the formulation of a contextual definition, local variables describing poverty and wellbeing from the experiences of the residents are presented and discussed.  Contextual definitions of poverty are geared towards resolving the accelerating growth of poverty especially in slum communities within Sub-Saharan Africa.  As the rest of the world experiences a decrease in poverty, the poverty rate within the region is almost at a fifty percent.  The effects of poverty are felt and experienced within the growing cities of this regions and more especially in slum communities.  A set of sixteen poverty indicators were identified and mixed methods research used to collect data among the residents.  The data is presented through descriptive statistics and thematic descriptions of poverty as narrated by residents.  Additionally, a multidimensional poverty index of respondents was computed from data generated from the poverty indicators to give each respondent an individualized score.  The study revealed that 68% of the respondents were deprived.  They experienced deprivation in access to NHIF, with 65.8% lacking active registration to this health scheme, access to toilet facilities where all the respondents share toilets with several other households with no organized sewerage systems, monthly income with 87% of the respondents earning below the monthly minimum wage, ability to pay monthly rent with 80.9% of the respondents having rent arrears, nature of work with 87.5% not having a regular source of income, and cooking fuel with 70.2% of respondents cooking with paraffin, charcoal, or firewood. Targeting the poorest of the poor within Kibra slum remains a challenge for development practitioners.  In consultation with the residents, efforts towards responding to the above-mentioned deprivations including enhancing the quality of education and unemployment among the children and the youth of the slum are of great concern. 


How to Cite
Njagi, W. N. ., Irungu, C. I. ., & Koome, P. (2024). Local variables describing poverty and wellbeing among residents of Kibra slum; Nairobi, Kenya. African Multidisciplinary Journal of Research, 8(II), 88–116. Retrieved from https://journals.spu.ac.ke/index.php/amjr/article/view/248