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The Mathare Valley slum

Mathare is a collection of slums in Nairobi, Kenya with a population of approximately 500,000 people;[1] the population of Mathare Valley alone, the oldest of the slums that make up Mathare, is 180,000 people. Mathare is the home of football team Mathare United of the MYSA.[2]

Gang violence[edit]

In 2006, Mathare was damaged by violence between rival gangs the Taliban (not to be confused with the Islamist group of the same name), a Luo group, and the Mungiki, a Kikuyu group.[1] Brewers of an illegal alcoholic drink, chang'aa, asked the Taliban for help after the Mungiki tried to raise their taxes on the drink; since then, fighting between the two has led to the burning of hundreds of homes and at least 10 deaths.[1] Police entered the slum on November 7th 2006 and the General Service Unit arrived a day later. However, many residents who fled are still afraid to return.[1]

On June 5, 2007, the Mungiki murdered two police officers in Mathare; the same night, police retaliated by killing 22 people and detaining around 100.[3]

Following the controversial presidential elections that took place on December 27th 2007, gangs of Kikuyu and Luo youth engaged in violent fights and burned more than 100 homes.[4]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Rodriguez-Torres, Deyssi. "Public authorities and urban upgrading policies in Eastlands: the example of 'Mathare 4A Slum Upgrading Project." In: Charton-Bigot, Hélène and Deyssi Rodriguez-Torres (editors). Nairobi Today: The Paradox of a Fragmented City. African Books Collective, 2010. p. 61-96. ISBN 9987080936, 9789987080939. The source edition is an English translation, published by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers Ltd. [1] of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in association with the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) [2] The book was originally published in French as Nairobi contemporain: Les paradoxes d'une ville fragmentée, Karthala Editions (Hommes et sociétés, ISSN 0993-4294). French version article: "Les pouvoirs publics et les politiques de reenovation urbaine aa Eastlands L'exemple du « Mathare 4A Slum Upgrading Project »", p. 101-146.
  • De Lame, Danielle. "Grey Nairobi: Sketches of Urban Socialities." In: Charton-Bigot, Hélène and Deyssi Rodriguez-Torres (editors). Nairobi Today: The Paradox of a Fragmented City. African Books Collective, 2010. p. 167-214. French version article: "Gris Nairobi: Esquisses de sociabilités urbaines." p. 221-284. ISBN 2845867875, 9782845867871.
    • Includes a section on Mathare, titled "Mathare: Valley of Blood and Tears", p. 205-209 (In French: "Mathare: vallée de sang et de larmes", p. 272-277).
  • "Mathare Valley. A Case Study of Uncontrolled Settlement in Nairobi." University of Nairobi, Housing Research and Development Unit. GITEC Consult (1995).
  • "Mathare 4A Development Programme Feasibility Study Report." Ministry?
  • Reback, Andrew. "Slum Upgrading Case Study: Nairobi’s Mathare 4A." September 2007.


  1. ^ a b c d Gettleman, Jeffrey (2006-11-10). "Chased by Gang Violence, Residents Flee Kenyan Slum". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  2. ^ "Mathare United". Mathare United Football Club. Retrieved 2006-11-11. 
  3. ^ "Police in Kenya Kill 22 in Gun Battles Over Sect". The New York Times. Associated Press, republished by The New York Times Company. 2007-06-07. 
  4. ^ Jeffrey Gettleman, "Disputed Vote Plunges Kenya Into Bloodshed", The New York Times, December 31, 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 1°15′36″S 36°51′43″E / 1.26000°S 36.86194°E / -1.26000; 36.86194