This making their way into people’s homes and

This report
provides information on using recycled plastic to create plastic piling that
can then be used as a flood defence system to help towards eliminating floods
in Kibera.

We
identified the flooding in Kibera to be severe across the entirety of Kibera
and stemming from multiple sources. Due to the increase in roads being built in
Nairobi creating more flat surfaces, the few drainage tunnels that were built
for these roads were built to flow down toward Kibera.1  The only defences against the floods
are drainage canals, made by hand, that drain water from Kibera’s higher ground
down toward the Nairobi River. Other methods of flood defence include using
trash and sandbags to block the rancid floodwater from getting into people’s
homes.

During the
rainy seasons, Nairobi River, its tributary the Ngong River, and other streams
running through Kibera overflow and run through houses, bringing the raw sewage
and trash that had been dumped in the water with it, destroying the houses and
even taking lives as it flows through the streets. When the streets are dry,
the debris is left and animals that carry dangerous diseases find their way to
it, spreading the trash and the diseases they carry, trailing through and
contaminating the exposed water supply.

Our proposed
solution aims the reduce the flooding across the whole of Kibera by placing
plastic piling, created from recycled plastic collected from Kibera, around
larger sources of the flooding to reduce and maybe altogether prevent the
flooding. The recycled plastic makes use of plastic waste that contributes to
the 75,000 tonnes of waste that is generated in Kibera every year. 2

Flood
defences in Kibera are vital, the water flowing through Kibera is breeding
ground for diseases such as cholera and typhoid. These diseases are making
their way into people’s homes and spread from person to person. Minimising
flooding minimises the risk of these diseases spreading and reduces the amount
of animals carrying these diseases from being in the area. With a plastic bag
ban taking place in 2017, finding ways to utilise the plastic build up in the
slums of Kenya will greatly contribute to minimising the waste produced
overall.n Educating residents
during this process can also help towards minimising waste dumping, and
increase proper disposal of waste as well as encouraging people to help clean
their town themselves and giving them incentive to do so.

 

BACKGROUND

Kibera,
Nairobi is home to somewhere between 250,000 and 1 million people.3 The topic of water in Kibera comes with a
whole range of issues that affect the residents in their everyday life. The
cleanliness of the water they drink, how wastewater is dealt with, the source
and distribution of their water, how they can use water for urban agriculture
and the risks of flooding that they face in the wet months. 4

When looking
at solutions 5 which could improve
the impact of these issues on the people of Kibera we considered many ideas,
but had to settle on one due to cost restraints and the impact any work would
have on the community in Kibera.

The Kounkuey
Design Initiative (KDI), a non-profit organisation who focus on design and community
development, gathered data on the flooding in Kibera6 and found that the houses located on the
higher ground and the lower ground had almost the same proportion of flooding
occur during the rainy season – around 50%.7