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Kibera grassroots organization responds to COVID-19 across 14 urban informal settlements

Kibera grassroots organization responds to COVID-19 across 14 urban informal settlements



A grassroots movement in Kibera slum has supported 14 urban sites in the fight against Covid-19.

So far, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) has screened 1,817,178 people for COVID-19 symptoms, operates 317 handwashing stations across 14 sites that have been used 37,793,894 times, and delivered 5,639,320 litres of free water in Kibera via an innovative aerial water piping system.

SHOFCO has distributed an additional 37,880,000 litres of water via water truck distribution, and reached 1,543,754 slum dwellers with household-level distributions of soap and sanitizer.

According to Kennedy Odede, SHOFCO Founder and CEO, slum residents bear the biggest risk during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, as they lack the necessary infrastructure and access to basic services. SHOFCO’s community-based approach has delivered critical help for slum residents, and created distribution channels for government, corporate, and NGO partners to support in Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kawangware, Korogocho, Nyalenda, Obunga, Maweni, Bangladesh, Mishomoroni, Likoni, Kamkunji, Manyatta, and Soweto slums.

“COVID-19 has shown the importance of community-led response to crisis. When the community takes ownership, it becomes possible to do rapid distribution of supplies and information that keep slum residents safe during this pandemic.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed vulnerable families to the edge of survival. Because of SHOFCO’s deep roots in urban slum communities, we were able to mobilize quickly and at scale, and provide a lifeline to families hit hardest by the economic devastation.

“We are working very closely with the United Nations, UN-Habitat, OCHA, Amref, and the Government National Covid-19 community task force to ensure that we reach all informal settlements in Kenya,” added Mr. Odede.

Other initiatives that SHOFCO has undertaken include delivering 32,594 emergency food packages, and responding to 1,653 cases of gender-based violence since the start of the pandemic.

Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a grassroots movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls.

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