It’s the morning after the fire that took out the electrics at Future Stars. Time to take stock of the situation and make plans for the immediate future.
You can see from the photograph that the thin wires that carried electricity throughout the building are completely destroyed (and the area is wet from the firefighting). All of this will now need to be replaced if Future Stars is to restore its lighting.
Chaffinch will, of course, be providing the funds for the rewiring. As the fire spread along the whole electrical system, this means replacing not only the wiring but also the circuit breaker and the lightbulbs. Thankfully, all of these things can be easily purchased in Kibera.
We will also need to pay for labour to install this new wiring. The total costs come to £57.59, £6.32 of which is the wage for the labourer.
The fragile electrics are destroyed
It may strike you that £6.32 isn’t a lot for what will be almost a full day’s work. However, to someone living in Kibera, this is actually an excellent wage. With 50% of the adult population unemployed, and the average daily wage of the employed being less than £1, rewiring Future Stars will be a welcome job. With £6.32, one family should now be able to afford food for a whole week, even in these uncertain times with food prices soaring and availability continuing to diminish.
FIRE is a terrifying event in the cramped conditions of Kibera. When one home sits almost literally on top of another, fire can easily spread and has the potential to devastate a whole area of the slum. Most homes are created with mud packed into a wooden frame, giving a fire an easy journey from one building to the next.
It is fortunate that this event occurred during the rainy season. Whilst the rains have been unimpressive this year, there has been enough precipitation to dampen the mud and seep into the wooden frameworks. This served to slow down the progression of the fire, giving locals the chance to save their homes. Of course, there’s no insurance for property in Kibera so a fire can mean losing absolutely everything.
In Kibera, there’s not much space between buildings
It is in these emergencies that communities come together, and Kibera has a community unlike any other. Within minutes of the alarm being raised, dozens of residents were hard at work passing water up the steep slope from the small river beneath the centre. It is thanks to their efforts that the fire was contained and did no real damage to the structure of Future Stars or to any of the neighbouring properties.
It must have been a terrifying experience for everyone concerned – from those who came to fight the flames to the residential children of Future Stars watching as their home, their place of safety, seemed under threat. We can be thankful that no-one was injured and the damage was limited to the electrics. For now, the children of Future Stars will be reliant upon candles after the sun goes down. Hopefully the repair work will be speedy and life at Future Stars can return to normal very soon.