A Visit to Bangladesh
No, we’ve not swum across the Indian Ocean and trekked across the subcontinent: Bangladesh is a slum on the western outskirts of Mombasa, and I accompanied Edu on a visit to meet the Community Health Worker (CHW) and to make some home visits with her.
We first headed to Tudor, an area of Mombasa, where at Tulia Africa we picked up an intern, Christine, who would accompany us.
2 more matatu rides and we were there. We met the CHW, Rose, who took us through the slum to our first visit. This widowed lady lives with 3 kids in this rough house the size of our garden shed. Their beds are rough sacks which are laid on the floor at night. She makes a little money by bringing vegetables from the market at Kongowea (north of Mombasa) and selling them here, but they only get 2 meal a day at most.
The location, on the side of a hill overlooking the creek, is attractive.
Rose, the CHW, at another home.
Living room, bedroom, everything.
Walking through the village
Another visit: granny and grandson. Slightly bigger, but more children live here.
Anywhere else this building would have been fenced off, but the goats were still in the undercroft and I guess the people weren’t far away.
Another visit, a sick lady.
The catholic church / school / dispensary: most poeple get their drugs and healthcare here.
The middle of the village, a vast open space where the school kids were playing football.
Next visit: Granny (left) and widowed mum with 2 kids of her own, plus 6 orphaned kids of her sister.
Granny making Chang’aa, an illicit brew
Mum and toddler
Mattresses (just about) airing on the roof.
Mentally disabled and HIV+, Pauline loved my hat (and tried to eat it)
Ed was upset by the running drains through the village. There’s minimal sanitation, people either use a toilet at the school or the “flying toilets” down by the creek.
To get to our next visit we had to walk along the railway. The absence of clips on some sleepers was a little disconcerting (others were noticeably loose).
Rubbish dump across the tracks.
Christine, Edu and a baby (the lady we were due to visit had gone to hospital)
Not just a view of the railway for Julian: more improtanly, a young boy picking through the previously pictured rubbish.
We met the Assistant Chief. She was a feisty woman, and well intentioned, but we were somewhat alarmed by her attitude that the slum dwellers were all squatters and they should return to their homes – sounded too much like UKIP for my taste!
We addressed a women’s group meeting before we headed home.