From: Mathare, Nairobi
Interview date & place: 30 March 2016, Nairobi
Interviewed by: Kate Lines
Original language: Swahili
My name is Stanley Mwangi. I live in Kiamutisya village [in Mathare]. I am a member of Muungano.
How did you first get involved in Muungano?
I joined Muungano in 2007. It was introduced to us by an organization called Pamoja Trust that showed us how we can work together to defend our village, and, since we joined forces, we have seen the fruit of our efforts. Before, there were many private developers who wanted to demolish our village. But by being part of Muungano we have been able to successfully defend our village, although we are still working to secure the documentation we need to own this land.
How have things changed over the years?
There have been a lot of changes within Muungano and in our village. There was a time when water supply was an issue, but the government took steps towards ensuring there was water in our settlement. Ever since we started fighting for electricity connections, we have seen some sections of the settlement receiving electricity. Muungano has brought about many changes in our village. We have also started doing enumeration, and so we now understand our village better. Thanks to Muungano, we now know how many we are and how many houses are within our settlement . Personally I have achieved a lot since I joined Muungano. I now know my rights, unlike in the past. I now know what organizations I can consult if my rights have been violated, unlike in the past. And the savings we are involved in has helped us a lot to get loans which help us individually. For instance, I am a farmer; I can take up the loan and buy what I lack, supporting me to continue with my work. Through Muungano, we have been able to better know each other and we have been able to get help as a group.
What are your hopes for Muungano’s next 20 years
In the next twenty years, I would like to see all the services we need in our village being provided. We would like to see everyone in our village with title deeds showing that they are the owners of that land. I would also like to see people being provided with water. We would like to an electricity supply and proper sewer lines installed, because in our settlement the sewer lines pass close to our houses and this is very dangerous to our health. We would like to see all these services provided, as well as our infrastructure improved. These are what we expect to see from Muungano.