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Date of reg.: 26.06.2018
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Sent: 04.09.2018 | 21:14:03


     African urban slums are similar, whether it is the Kasokoso in Kampala (Uganda), or Ndirande in Blantyre, where we will visit today, or some other place. In African urban slums we will find stone houses, bigger or smaller, some of them will look quite good (in other places the house of stone would be considered a luxury). African city slums would seem just a very big village, if not for the only circumstance that turns such areas into slum -  houses are located with the absence of any hygienic or town-planning logic. The houses are located almost closely to each other and in different orientations, in other places for hundreds of meters there are no streets or driveways, only houses with narrow, crooked passages between them, over which sewage can flow. In the slum there are no sidewalks and during the rainy season the territory of the slum is difficult to walk.

     From the center of Blantyre (from Victoria Avenue) to the western border of the Ndirande Township, just over 3 kilometers in a straight line to the east. Ndirande slum crawl from the road with the name Ndirande, which is their western border, to the foot of the mountain, which the local people call by the same name - Ndirande. The area of ​​the Ndirande is 2.6 square kilometers, there are 10-20 thousand houses here (we counted, using Google maps). In view of the fact that in one, even a small, house there can be several apartments, it is quite probable that about 100 thousand people live in Ndirande or even more.

     Several decades ago, the territory at the foot of the Ndirande Mountain was outside the city limits of Blantyre. Unauthorized construction here caused little interest of the city authorities and was not controlled by anyone. The land here did not have a private owner. These two circumstances, as well as the proximity of the area to the center of Blantyre, provoked the spontaneous settlement in Ndirande. Now, after decades, we can observe the result of uncontrolled construction.

     Through the center of Ndirande a small river named Nasolo goes. Its water is not clean and unsafe, and sometimes produces unpleasant odors. The lack of quality drinking water is a serious problem of Ndirande and a direct consequence of chaotic development - there is no water supply and sewage. Residents take water from shallow wells, they also collect rainwater. As studies have shown [1], 85 percent of the residents of Ndirande drink unrefined water. 80% of water samples contained E. coli, which indicates fecal contamination. Outbreaks of cholera in Ndirande occur every year. The largest number of cholera cases, 85 people, was registered in 2007.

     Ndirande is one of the most densely populated places in Blantyre. People here live a normal life. In Ndirande you will find auto mechanics, wood and coal sellers, furniture manufacturers, metal scrap collectors, even coffins, almost everything you can think about. Here there are places of entertainment - clubs and pubs. The market sells vegetables, fruits, meat, chicken, fish, clothes, furniture and everything else.


Ndirande slum

Ndirande slum

Ndirande slum

Ndirande slum

     This small house has two doors, which means there are two apartments in the house. Each of the apartments has an area of, obviously, not more than 8 square meters. Next, to the left, we see a canopy. This is a point of sale. Judging by the black earth, coal is being sold under a canopy:

Ndirande slum small house

     Under the canopy (left) is another point of sale. Here someone sells cakes and Coca-Cola. Nearby people rush about their business, housewives gossip, clothes is dried, children play:

Ndirande slum people

Ndirande slum people

     On the sides of the Ndirande road passing along the western border of the township are numerous merchants:

Ndirande road market

     Here you can find everything, even banking services:

Ndirande market

     To the right of the road someone sells charcoal, on the left are the scrap metal collectors:

Ndirande market

     Here are sold barrels and cans:

Ndirande market

     Women carry heavy objects on their heads:

Women carry barrels on their heads

     As in Russia, in 2018 in Malawi, red sneakers are popular with young people, and Ndirande does not stay away from fashion:

Red sneakers


     1. Quality of drinking water and cholera prevalence in Ndirande Township, City of Blantyre, Malawi. John F.Kamanulaa, Omega J.Zambasab, Wellington R.L.Masambac. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Volumes 7275, 2014, Pages 61-67.

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