By Piet Konings, Dick Foeken

Now and then of financial and political difficulty in Sub-Saharan Africa, city dwellers reveal a wide measure of creativity of their survival suggestions through constructing social networks and developing ingenious and unique practices and ideas. This quantity perspectives the city neighbourhood from assorted views and explores the significance of those artistic strategies. the 1st method considers the neighbourhood as a geographical area within which individuals are engaged in quite a few actions to improve their fabric and immaterial future health, utilizing their ‘wealth’ of possibilities, resources and various sorts of common, actual, monetary, human and social ‘capital’. the second one perspective sees the neighbourhood as now not unavoidably geographically situated or bounded yet as having been created and outlined via people. those neighbourhoods may well tackle the shape of self-help companies, institutions or church buildings, or might be in response to gender, generational, ethnic or occupational identities. because the contributions from all over the place Sub-Saharan Africa exhibit, the 2 techniques don't inevitably exclude one another.

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In 1997, the prevalence of absolute poverty4 in Nakuru town was 41%, compared to about 30% three years earlier 2 For more details on these types of resources in an (African) urban setting, see, for instance, Rakodi (2002a) and Brown & Lloyd-Jones (2002). 3 After Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. 4 The ‘absolute poverty line’ is defined as the income needed to obtain the required minimum amount of basic food and non-food items. 1 Nakuru town, Kenya the official minimum wage as set by the government, which was Ksh 2,648 per person per month in 1997 (Kenya 2001: 11).

9-15. Kaag, M. 2004, ‘Ways Forward in Livelihood Research’, in: D. Kalb, W. Pantsers & H. Siebers (eds), Globalization and Development. Themes and Concepts in Current Research, Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 49-74. Kanji, N. 1995, ‘Gender, Poverty and Economic Adjustment in Harare, Zimbabwe’, Environment and Urbanization 7 (1): 37-55. Surviving in Nakuru, Kenya 45 Kenya, Government of 1970, Kenya Population Census 1969, Vol. 1, Nairobi: Government Printer. Kenya, Government of 2000, Economic Survey 2000, Nairobi: Government Printer.

This is the job that pays my children’s school fees, clothing, rent and food. Brewing and selling chang’aa is generally illegal in Kenya but Sofia explained how she deals with that: In this business of ours we know how to cope with the police. Every time we make a profit, we give them ‘something little’ so that they leave us alone. Actually, it depends on how well you are acquainted with them. We know how to talk to the police even before they come. Sometimes we are of course taken to the police station but find our way out afterwards.

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