Reclaiming playgrounds from illegal dumpsites in Nairobi's informal settlments
Playtime is an essential part of a child’s development. This requires that children have access to a safe, clean and secure space to utilize for playtime. The kids at Viwandani’s do not have access to such spaces.
The area has been overrun by domestic and industrial waste pollution from decades of illegal dumping that has denied these young ones their right to safely play and have fun.
Illegal dumping along the areas Ngong River banks over the years have attributed to this. Former playgrounds over 30 years ago are now targeted sites for illegal dumping. Adults and parents in the area have slowly seen their childhood playgrounds disappear under these dumpsites.
The children still venture out and play atop mounds of hazardous
contaminated waste and are constantly exposed to diseases like cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid amongst others. Such exposure poses significant present and future health risks to their lives.
With each rainy season, the waste is pushed further inwards as the river banks swell from flooding. More land gets covered by waste pollution, less land is left for playgrounds and other community usages. Conscious Kenya has developed our Green Play Project to help provide Viwandani children with reclaimed playgrounds.
Our goal here is to reclaim three playgrounds in each of Viwandani’s 13 villages. A total of 39 playgrounds to give these children access to clean, healthy, secure and safe playgrounds. Each playground will give access to 70-100 children per day as they rotate between playgrounds. This will positively impact the lives of over 3,000 children for years to come and improve their way of life and growth.
These new spaces will also offer refuge to the communities’ disabled children who are hidden and locked away in dark rooms out of shame for their disabilities from their families. Our new playgrounds will welcome these forgotten children and offer them a place in the open to enjoy and bask in the sun, something that they rarely get to experience.
For sustainability, each playground will be fenced off to prevent it from being reused as a dump site. Community champions, youth leaders and CBOs will act as protectors of these spaces to ensure they are used as intended. This will be instituted through community policing by the area residents who have given their full support for this project.
ORG. NAME: CONSCIOUS KENYA