The slum in my backyard

Taking a walk is one of my fondest leisure; it is a good way to clear the head. I enjoy walking to the local street kiosk to buy my favourite candies. As I walked to the end of my street I discovered the kiosk was no more, and I wondered where it was. It usually was at the corner of the street, it had everything the neighbourhood could possibly need, from food stuff to miscellaneous items. Puzzled I asked a neighbour what had happened, and according to him the woman had relocated to the other end of the street. I decided to go in search of Mama Jimoh the kiosk woman who sold my favourite candy.

Walking to the end of the street, I was surprised to discover a whole new world, one I had not noticed before. It had so many people, there were children running around naked, almost like a village. Where had these people come from?

There were ponds of water on every surface and there were tents and make-shift houses all stacked next to each other. There was an awful smell as well. I couldn’t place exactly what it was. The odour was so pungent I was sure it was the smell of sewage.

The slum was in winding curves that headed in downward spirals. Its design was a three storey building in reverse, just instead of stones; there were rocks that served as stepping stones and planks that paved the gutters that ran from the several other gutters in the estate.

Astonished, I vowed to continue my search for the woman that sold the candy I loved and cherished so much. Just when I thought I should return the rains threatened from far in the sky with thunderous lightening, then a familiar voice called me and I realised it was Mama Jimoh, the kiosk woman. She smiled at me and said, ‘Now you know where we stay’.

Every day, so many are forced to move to the slums as they cannot afford proper housing.  Sanitation is so poor, yet the people have more worries than hygiene. Daily, new illnesses are born with some of them remaining nameless till it becomes a pandemic.Image

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