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Megaslumming With Djemba, A Boy From Kibera

March 4, 2010

This beautifully shot film was made to coincide with the launch of ‘Megaslumming’, a new book just published by Share The World’s Resources and written by Adam Parson’s in his quest to unravel how a ‘megaslum’ such as Kibera (in Nairobi, Kenya), one of the world’s most infamous slums, came to exist, what economic forces shape the reality of life for slum-dwellers in Africa, and what it really means to live in extreme poverty. The film vividly portrays some of the realities of poverty for the residents of Kibera through the eyes of a street boy Djemba and his best friends.

Despite the shantytown’s constant visits from pop stars, politicians and Western journalists, these seldom explain how the enduring poverty and inequality in Kenya is intimately related to an unjust economic system that connects our different worlds.

Proportion of each country's urban population living in slums. Data from UN-HABITAT, Global Urban Observatory, 2001 estimates

According the UN-Habitat reports, one out of every three city dwellers – nearly a billion people – lives in a slum, and by the year 2030, an additional 3 billion people–about 40 percent of the world’s population–will need access to housing. This translates into a demand for 96,150 new affordable units every day and 4,000 every hour.

While Parsons raises imminent and serious questions about the current direction of world development, he reminds us that to understand poverty we don’t necessarily have to be economy experts, and that change begins by embracing the most basic of human values such as sharing with others.

Watch this excerpt of an interview with Parsons on Kenya’s Nation TV:

You can find out more about the book, purchase a copy or download an abridged version here: stwr.org/megaslumming

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