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Kangemi residents say they lack services ahead of Pope's visit

27 November 2015, 09:28

Nairobi — Residents of the Kangemi slum in the Kenyan capital, where Pope Francis is arriving this Friday, say they lack some of the most basic services.

Emily Night, a mother of two who works at the parish's HIV counseling center, says the pope's visit is giving hope to Kangemi residents who often cannot afford garbage pickup, or even the treatments necessary to purify water to make it safe for drinking.

She says the city pipes in water only three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday, but it's not safe to drink.

"Some people don't have toilets in their homes," she says as she waited for Francis to arrive.

She adds: "Those that do, maybe 50 people are using it!"

At 8.15 a.m, residents of Kangemi, alongside goats scrounging through garbage, were lining the Nairobi slum's unpaved streets waiting for Pope Francis to arrive.

In the tin-roofed St. Joseph's parish, which serves the neighborhood of single-story mud brick shacks, children from the parish school, wearing T-shirts with Francis' photo on them, were singing hymns.

The 16-year-old Valarie Mamarome says she hopes Francis' visit will put an end to corruption, so rampant in in Kenya.

She says corruption "leads to people being poor."

Her friend, Orpha Khavere, says she wants to go to university to become a lawyer "to fight corruption."

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- AP


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