Farming Livestock in African Slums (PRI)

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Kahawa Soweto is a slum on the northeast edge of Nairobi, Kenya. Children chase each other down a narrow dirt road, passing women with water jugs. It’s a densely packed area, and it’s not just people that live here.

“We have [chickens] here,” says Regina Wangari as she opens the door to a shack that she recently converted into a coop. “Outside we have almost 20 of them – here in the ghetto.”

Wangari lets the chickens roam freely around the slum, nibbling on bits of garbage and grass. She also raises other animals. In a tight alley behind her shack, she keeps a dozen goats. And in a shanty nearby, she has rabbit cages stacked from floor to ceiling. There are more than 400 rabbits in the small metal shack.

Raising livestock in the city isn’t new in sub-Saharan Africa, but it is a growing trend.



Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.