Pope Francis is visiting a slum on Nairobi’s northwestern edge to press his call for adequate and dignified housing for society’s most marginal, especially in burgeoning megacities like the Kenyan capital.
Francis has frequently insisted on the need for the three “Ls”, land, labor and lodging and on Friday he’s expected to focus on housing as a critical issue facing the world amid rapid urbanisation that is helping to upset Earth’s delicate ecological balance.
Kangemi is one of 11 slums dotting Nairobi, East Africa’s largest city. The shanty itself has about 50 000 residents living without basic sanitation. Most of the capital’s slums comprise a maze of single-room mud structures with iron-sheet roofing or cramped, high-rise buildings.
Francis referred to the problem of urban shanties in his speech to the African UN headquarters on Thursday, saying everyone has a basic right to “dignified living conditions,” and that the views of local residents must be taken into account when urban planners are designing new construction.