Kisenyi; a case for urban poor in Uganda

Right in the middle of down town Kampala is a slum called Kisenyi. It’s a place  with a mix of many language spoken in Uganda, Eastern Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. The roughest Kampala neighbourhood I have ever been.  We visited Kisenyi on Saturday 28th with friends, some of whom I know personally and others through twitter after @AndyKristian called us for a photo shoot. I had only passed by the outskirts of Kisenyi as a journalist. I had never seen anything like that before. In just a few minutes from the crazy crowded bus parks we were in a place where we felt visibly foreign.

It wasn’t long we were moving through the garbage, heaps of polythene bags, flowing sewage besides little wooden houses which most people sleep in. We were with a young man that runs a program for kids in that neighborhood and that’s why it was easy to move around.

Kisenyi photo by Ssozi Javie

Andy and Ed Echwalu were ready with cameras. You can’t shoot without getting the toughest kids on the block to guard you here. Before the shoot, a crowd of kids gathered, it was quite touching to see a child beg you to buy them sugarcane for 100 shillings for lunch. We were there around 1pm, most of these kids don’t easily find a meal.  There are all sorts of businesses going on but survival business like selling empty water bottles. More than three quarters of the kids and youth here were intoxicated with all sorts of substances. There were a few women who came to the shooting site. There were lots of young girls too.

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