Nov 27, 2015 12:29 AM

The Latest: Nairobi slum residents say they lack services

The Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) The latest on Pope Francis' first trip to Africa. (All times local.)


8:25 a.m.

Residents of the Kangemi slum in the Kenyan capital, where Pope Francis is arriving this Friday, say they lack some of the most basic services.

Emily Night, a mother of two who works at the parish's HIV counseling center, says the pope's visit is giving hope to Kangemi residents who often cannot afford garbage pickup, or even the treatments necessary to purify water to make it safe for drinking.

She says the city pipes in water only three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday, but it's not safe to drink.

"Some people don't have toilets in their homes," she says as she waited for Francis to arrive.

She adds: "Those that do, maybe 50 people are using it!"

Nicole Winfield, Nairobi


8:15 a.m.

Residents of Kangemi, alongside goats scrounging through garbage, are lining the Nairobi slum's unpaved streets waiting for Pope Francis to arrive.

In the tin-roofed St. Joseph's parish, which serves the neighborhood of single-story mud brick shacks, children from the parish school, wearing T-shirts with Francis' photo on them, are singing hymns.

The 16-year-old Valarie Mamarome says she hopes Francis' visit will put an end to corruption, so rampant in in Kenya.

She says corruption "leads to people being poor."

Her friend, Orpha Khavere, says she wants to go to university to become a lawyer "to fight corruption."

Nicole Winfield, Nairobi


6:30 a.m.

After celebrating his first Mass in Africa, Pope Francis is turning his attention to society's most marginal in a visit to a sprawling slum on the northwestern edge of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

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 U.N. 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.

He said that this will help eliminate the many instances of "inequality and pockets of urban poverty, which are not simply economic but also, and above all, social and environmental."

The message was keenly felt because the U.N. Habitat program, which seeks to promote adequate and environmentally sustainable housing, is based in Nairobi.

Nicole Winfield, Nairobi


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