Maurice Omondi, 32; Unemployed

Portrait of Maurice Omondi

I live in Kasabuni, Babadogo. It is a stone walled house with an iron sheet roof. We use unregulated electricity lines and buy water from vendors. There is high insecurity because of the high rate of unemployment.

I only left Nairobi when I went for my father’s burial. I have moved within Kasabuni on instances when I got enough income to rent a better house. When moving you have to pay young men for security so that you do not lose your property. I did not lose or damage anything because they are my childhood friends. Items get stolen often.

There is a season of very long rains that forced people who were near the river to move.

Unemployment makes young men go into crime and drug abuse. Young women have had to do sex work.

Lack of income has made access to food harder because food has become more expensive. Some common dishes cost four times more than they did. We have a youth group that has a kitchen garden with vegetables which we share with the women in the community. We also keep chickens. We need training, equipment and seeds so that we can upscale what we are already doing.

This testimony is part of the Dossier Urban Displacement. Forced Evictions: Stories from the Frontline in African Cities