Mathare is a collection of slums in Nairobi, Kenya with a population of approximately 500,000 people; the population of Mathare Valley alone, the oldest of the slums that make up Mathare, is 180,000 people. Mathare is the home of football team Mathare United of the MYSA.
Young women in mathare nairobi kenya november 2011 share their stories
In 2006, Mathare was damaged by violence between rival gangs the Taliban (not to be confused with the Islamist group of the same name), a Luo group, and the Mungiki, a Kikuyu group. Brewers of an illegal alcoholic drink, chang'aa, asked the Taliban for help after the Mungiki tried to raise their taxes on the drink; since then, fighting between the two has led to the burning of hundreds of homes and at least 10 deaths. Police entered the slum on November 7th 2006 and the General Service Unit arrived a day later. However, many residents who fled are still afraid to return.
On June 5, 2007, the Mungiki murdered two police officers in Mathare; the same night, police retaliated by killing 22 people and detaining around 100.
Following the controversial presidential elections that took place on December 27th 2007, gangs of Kikuyu and Luo youth engaged in violent fights and burned more than 100 homes.