The Italian Almanac


Italian News - November 17

Italy will help Kenya tackle one of the worst slums in the world, Italian Environment Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio said on Thursday. The Korogocho shantytown on the outskirts of Nairobi is home to a million people, who live around the planet's largest trash dump, a 30 metre-deep mountain of rubbish, sprawling over 125 hectares.

In the Kenyan capital for an international climate change conference, Pecoraro Scanio signed an environmental cooperation accord with Kenyan authorities which includes several projects for Korogocho. The minister was the only one of 189 international representatives at the conference to visit the slum.

The new accord forms part of a wider project to help improve conditions for the people living there. In addition to poverty, dirt and horrific overcrowding, most inhabitants have no access to water or electricity and are the victims of organized crime.

Korogocho is Kenya's third largest slum but is its most densely populated, with an average of five to six people per room, and an ever swelling population. It is home not only to Kenyans originally from rural areas but also to foreigners from neighbouring countries, drawn to the capital in the hope of work.