A group of Kenyan women are fed up with the way that they have been living and are finally seeking to do something about it. The women, who live in an informal settlement called Mukuru, have planned to seize ownership of their slum by taking legal action, The Guardian reports.
“Living in Mukuru is difficult for women, Dorice Moseti, one of the 400,000 residents living in the slum, told the paper. “We have money; we want to upgrade. We are Kenyans and we have the right to have our land.”
In addition to the squatter’s rights litigation filed last September by Kenythe Kenyan NGO Muungano wa Wanavijiji, the woman have planned to launch legal proceedings against the slum’s landowners — private companies and several individuals — for maltreatment.
According to the woman, private ownership of Mukuru has only led to a series of problems. A building with appropriate sanitation facilities does not exist, forcing female slum inhabitants to travel long distances to find toilets, a huge sexual violence risk.
Moseti, who makes about 7 British pounds a month and lives in a one-bedroom shack, has gathered nearly 8,000 signatures from female slum residents who agree to testify in front o the national lands commission about the hardships of living without proper sanitation in Mukuru.
“We’ve had cases where an individual or five people have come together and said: ‘We want to sue these people for a specific portion of land.’ But in this case it’s the whole settlement, which is 450 acres, so it will be a first in history,” said Edith Kalela, an advocacy officer at a Kenyan NGO that works to upgrade slums.
The situation in Mukuru, unfortunately, is not uncommon. Kenyan governments are often criticized for their lack of action in improving slum life, even though they often promise to do more.
According to the Guardian, Moseti, hopes that her group’s lawsuit will burgeon Muungano’s initial proceedings by showcasing the negative aspects of private ownership on slum lands. Her case is expected to begin in December.