The politically motivated Nairobi riots on March 27, 2023 have had a devastating impact on small businesses in Nairobi including those belonging to our partners in the Kibera community.
The government opposition leader had called for bi-weekly protests against the high cost of living and against claims that last year's election was "stolen" from the party, and the first of these in Nairobi on Monday quickly developed into widespread violence through an area of Kibera, where many small businesses are located. The riots caused extensive damage to property. Whole streets of shops and stalls were looted and completely destroyed by fire, and many people were injured.
With both a Christian church and a Muslim mosque damaged, the riots have exposed the fragility of the usual day-to-day cooperation between different religious and also tribal groups. But more than this, the riots have highlighted the fragility of the local economy, where there is no insurance and little in the way of security and government protection or support for those who depend on their small businesses to feed themselves and their families.
Our partners, although shaken, disoriented, and in one case injured are nevertheless safe, but of course, now face the difficulty of trying to rebuild their businesses, on which their livelihoods depend, literally from the ground up.
One thing we have learned is that these are a resilient people. Right now they are shocked and discouraged, but will already be thinking about how to recover; how to rebuild. We will provide help and support as we can but with next Thursday's protests still going ahead the future is looking far from secure.
The support we can give is more than financial, but certainly, money helps. Click our donate button below if you'd like to be part of this support.