Women and children fall to the ground, bloodied and trampled during a food distribution in a slum in Nairobi, while the police shoot tear gas and charge with a stick.
The scene took place on Friday in the huge slum of Kibera, in the heart of the Kenyan capital. It could well herald the continuation, if Africa did not manage to combine the fight against the new coronavirus and the aid to millions of urban poor.
“I give him (the government) a week or two before the situation gets worse. Not in terms of coronavirus, but in terms of hunger,” said Kennedy Odede, director of Shining hope for communities (SHOFCO). , a local organization working in Kibera.
“If it continues like this, we could play with fire,” he warns.
To contain the spread of the virus, Kenya has isolated Nairobi and some coastal areas from the rest of the country and imposed a night curfew. These decisions have already cost many Kenyans their jobs, observes Odede.
President Uhuru Kenyatta brandished the threat of total containment to force his fellow citizens to abide by the rules. But officials recognize that it would be a heartbreaking choice when 60% of Nairobi residents live in slums.
“Locking people in the slums will be the last option. There are a lot of things to do before that,” said a senior Kenyan security official, speaking on condition of anonymity.