Richie is only 12, but already he is his family’s main breadwinner. He collects garbage at the Dandora dump site in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. It’s a dangerous job, not least because the dump – one of the largest in Africa – is ruled by local gangs.
Local gangs run the Dandora dump in Nairobi, but they answer to garbage cartels - networks of private companies competing for lucrative state contracts and not afraid of paying bribes to land them. Currently, the governor and other high-ranking city hall officials are embroiled in a garbage-related scandal that Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating. On the dump site itself, there is a climate of fear. Threats and beatings are not infrequent. Richie has learned to live with it; he says he has no alternative. Melanie Cura Daball reports.