PBI-UK highlights the SJCWG’s concerns about the needs of Nairobi’s informal settlements during the coronavirus pandemic

Published by Brent Patterson on

Peace Brigades International-United Kingdom has posted on social media, “Our friends at the Social Justice Centre Working Group [SJCWG] point out ‘that the government’s measures to tackle the Coronavirus do not take into consideration the varying levels of need, especially those of vulnerable populations in’ Kenya.”

The Nairobi-based Daily Nation reports, “A human rights group is calling on the government to direct its focus on Kenyans living in the slums as the country grapples with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.”

“According to the organisation, densely populated informal settlements may be unable to observe the government’s guidelines ‘even if their lives depended on it’ owing to the structural challenges in the slums.”

“The rights group argues that while some Kenyans may work from home, for slum dwellers, a day away from work would mean no means to fend for their families.”

Among the measures the Social Justice Centre Working Group is seeking at this critical time is for “the government to restore water supply to all slums and to crack down on water cartels that extort Kenyans.”

The PBI-UK post notes, “In these challenging times, protecting defenders on the ground has never been more important. PBI will always support human rights defenders standing up for the basic rights of vulnerable communities to water and sanitation.”

Four Peace Brigades International-Kenya Project volunteers accompany members of two grassroots organisations and twenty-nine human rights defenders working in the Nairobi’s urban settlements and the Mount Kenya region.

On February 20 of this year, PBI-Kenya posted, “The delegation from the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk and PBI-UK met with International Justice Mission and joined the Women Human Rights Defender (WHRD) Toolkit Organizers for a community town hall meeting on SGBV [sexual and gender-based violence] in Mathare. This year the WHRD Toolkit Organizers will launch a campaign to address the low conviction rate of rape and defilement perpetrators.”

The Feminist for Peace Rights and Justice Centre also posted, “Thank you PBI-UK for visiting our office and learning from each other on how to strengthen our working relationship as toolkits organisers in Kenya.”


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