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Security risks from slum toilet

Children and women bear a disproportional burden in Kenya’s slums which is mainly attributed to the absence of formalized drinking water provision, basic sanitation facilities and high security risks.

Only 24 percentages of residents in Nairobi’s slums have access to toilets at household level!

The result, women are raped on their ways to the toilet and live under a constant threat of sexual violence which has left many women too scared to leave their homes to use communal toilet and bathroom facility.

Women told Amnesty International of the high number of women and girls who have experienced rape and other forms of violence directly as a result of their attempt to find or
walk to a toilet or latrine some distance away from their houses.

A number of women told Amnesty International how their daughters or children in their custody had suffered rape and other forms of sexual violence while attempting to use toilets mostly at night but sometimes even during the day.

The case of 19-year-old Amina of Mathare is illustrative:

“I always underestimated the threat of violence when regularly using the latrine which all12 families who live on the plot where I live use. I would go to the latrine at any time provided it was not too late. This was until two months ago when I almost became a victim of rape… You have to walk for about ten minutes to use the latrine. It was just about 7pm when I had reached the latrine only to encounter a group of four young men – including one who was my neighbor and well known to me… Without saying anything two of them held my hands as one hit me on the face. I partly lost consciousness… I shouted asking them to leave me. I could feel that they were undressing me and one of them was saying that they would teach me a lesson on why I should not be out at that time… I am sure that they were about to start raping me when a few people responded to my shouting and came to my rescue and these men ran away… I did not report the incident because one of the four men who was well known later told me if I reported the incident to official authorities or the police they would look for and deal with me…

Read the recently launched Amnesty International report, Insecurity and Indignity: Women’s Experiences in the Slums of Nairobi.


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