Africa

Kenyans hold protest against inequality

Gap between rich and poor getting bigger, says one of protest organizers

Andrew Wasike   | 17.01.2020
Kenyans hold protest against inequality

NAIROBI, Kenya

Kenyan citizens on Friday took to the streets of the capital Nairobi against inequality in the country. 

Traffic along the busy Uhuru Highway came to a standstill as the placards-holding protesters marched.

The marchers were protesting against inequality in income, education, unemployment rates, gender-based bias, healthcare and access to clean water for drinking among many others.

The protest is part of a global protest against inequality carried out in 30 countries to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Jackson Omondi, a 48-year-old businessman from Western Kenya’s Nyanza Province, said people living in some counties get better access to government facilities compared to those who live in rural areas.

“I know people who suffer from HIV/Aids and who miss medication because of poor healthcare facilities and services in rural Nyanza. When you go to schools in central province, almost every child has been enrolled in school, while in Northern Kenya you will find only one out of three children are not going to school,” Omondi added.

Lucy Kinyanjui, 52, came from Kibera slums that borders the posh Lang’ata estate in Nairobi. On one side you can see well-maintained gardens with posh houses while on the other side people live in tin shacks.

“Can you see that side, it is just 100 meters from here, while we have water and electricity for only three days in a week, they have water every single day […] we pay the same amount that they pay but why don’t we get clean water and electricity every day?” Kinyanjui asked.

According to OXFAM, an international confederation of 20 NGOs which are among the organizers of the protest, the gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger. 

Fredrick Njeru of GreenPeace Africa, also an organizer of the protest, said: “We are living in a world that is extremely unequal, Kenya is one of the most unequal countries, the few wealthy people own it all, we want the government to change this”.

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