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Report on the Twitter Chat on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Informal Settlement

As the country continues to scale up its response efforts, there have been notable concerns with the rising cases of COVID 19 infections in informal settlements and other densely populated areas in cities and towns. The Ministry of health has particularly singled out settlements like Kawangware, Kibera, Eastleigh and Old town, with the latter two being subjected to further containment measures in the form of restricted movement.

 

Dense population, coupled with congested housing, shared amenities and general resource limitations are some of the factors behind the rising incidence of COVID 19 in these settings as they make it difficult for residents to practice preventive measures outlined in the global guidelines such as social distancing, frequent hand-washing with soap and water and other hygiene practices aimed at combating the virus.

 

Other than the growing risk of infection in the informal settlements, loss of livelihoods due to shut down/slowdown of some of the industries is also likely to see an upsurge of insecurity within the settlements. It also increased tension at household level with cases of gender based violence being reported. Similarly, school closure is likely to see an increase in the incidence of teenage pregnancies, which predominantly tends to affect urban informal settlements compared to other urban setups.

 

In view of the foregoing, UNFPA in collaboration with Nairobi County Department of Health, Polycom Development Project, Koch FM, and UNFPA Youth Advisory Panel convened a twitter chat on Friday 11th May 2020 between 11:00am-12:00pm