Activist Kennedy Odede indulges Chelsea Clinton on the plight of Kibra residents amid coronavirus outbreak


Kibera slum in Nairobi. Photo/REUTERS
Kibera slum in Nairobi. Photo/REUTERS

On Wednesday evening, celebrated activist and New York Times best-selling author Kennedy Odede held an interactive discussion with Global health advocate Chelsea Clinton.

The session focused mainly on how African countries were coping with the new coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc across the globe.

Odede who has lived in the sprawling Kibera slums half his life noted that a lot still needs to be done to contain the virus especially in informal settlements.

For instance, he noted that residents of Kibra were finding it hard to observe WHO’s stipulations on social guidelines since they share most of their facilities like toilets and water points.

“Chelsea, some of these people share a community toilet, you will see more than 50 people sharing the same toilet and this could be exposing them to the risk of contracting the disease,” Odede said on the zoom session.

He also noted the issue of water scarcity in informal settlements which was hampering the efforts of containing the virus as it means people can no longer wash their hands as frequently as needed.

“Currently, we give water to people in the slums for free, but with the numbers rising the day, there is still more that needs to be done, and that will need resources, the government is also at work, but we need to do more,” he added.

Ms Clinton, the only daughter of former US President Bill Clinton expressed her support for the Odede-run Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) and lauded the Kenyan activist for his life-changing work.

As of Wednesday, Kibra recorded the highest number of cases in a day after 15 people tested positive.

Kenya’s coronavirus cases crossed the 1000 mark on Wednesday after 66 people tested positive between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kenya has also recorded 366 recoveries and 50 fatalities.

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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