Korogocho is the third largest slum area in Nairobi
after Kibera and Mathare.
It is also one of the most densely populated and socially volatile slums in
It is located in Kasarani Division on land that is partly government and partly
private- owned in the proximity of a dumping site at Dandora. Part of the land
was originally owned by one individual called Babadogo who later sold the plots
The rest of the adjacent land originally belonged to the City Council but was
later allocated to private individuals.
The structures in Korogocho are very congested. The slum has an average of 5-6
persons per room. This is very high compared to the Mathare slums with 4-5
persons per room of 6 square metres (average size). The estimated population of
Korogocho in 1995 was 60000 and rose to 150000 in 1999.
Although generally regarded as a poor area, there appears to be a hierarchy.
There are those who live in Korogocho because they have invested there. The own
the butcheries, wholesale shops and bars. They actually live there to carry out
business. The second level are those who live in Korogocho because life here is
Although this category of people cal live in other middle income areas, they
prefer to live in Korogocho because of the lower cost of living it entails.
Forming the third category of Korogocho dwellers are the poorest of the poor.
Most of them are people who have been evicted severally, moving from slum to
another. Overall, however, it is estimated that most of the people who live in
Korogocho are tenants.
Those who live in lower “leveled” estates like Grogan, still live under the
constant threat though was done in 1994. In this incident, 89 households were
displaced when the city council sought to expand the playground for one of their
schools. The authorities in the area claimed that the affected residents had
been given notice to vacate for the expansion of the school where the children
of the “better off” in this area go.
This distinction is underscored by the fact that right accross the field from
the school, there is yet another school – the informal school. This kind of
schools currently provides access to education for over 2000 children of school
going age in Korogocho. The pupils in these schools pay minimum school fees,
have no school uniform, and are not burdened with maintenace costs.
This report is an effort to document the struggles and triumphs of the Korogocho
dwellers, those who daily struggle to survive although spurned as the
untouchable citizens of a “illegal city”