Many people who live in this structurally weak suburb take the ferry to the city every day in order to earn just enough money for daily survival of the family through odd jobs – however, this trip to the city is not always successful. Others hope for an opportunity to earn money in Likoni itself. It is not uncommon for the economic situation to drive single women into prostitution. In Kenya, the unemployment rate within the working age group is about 40%.
State investments in the health system are rare. Although the African heads of state agreed with the WHO at the turn of the millennium that 15% of the respective gross domestic product should be invested in the health system, the value in Kenya in 2015 was only 5.2%. This further contributes to the fact that health care in Kenya often remains a luxury good for the better-off. To set an example and provide access to health care for the residents of Likoni, we are pursuing the Kingston Hospital project.
Likoni is a structurally weak suburb of Mombasa, the second largest city in Kenya. Mombasa, as an important economic centre of Kenya, is located on a coral island north of Likoni and is separated from this suburb by the Indian Ocean. Several ferries create a connection between Likoni and Mombasa, but without a fixed ferry schedule, so that the waiting time varies from a few minutes to several hours.
In Kenya there are great disparities, which means differences between the poor and the rich population. While Mombasa has the most important seaport in East Africa, not everyone in the region benefits from the fast-growing economy:
Around 186,000 people were registered in Likoni in 2013, including around 40% under the age of 15. 13520 households have no working toilets and 6352 no running water.
About 20 minutes walk from Kingston Hospital, near Shelly Beach, is the village of Timbwani, which is geographically part of Likoni. Timbwani is divided into three village districts, each of which has its own village headman.
Many of our patients live there. In some cases, they live together with up to ten families under one roof. Often the dwellings are simple tin or mud huts built close together with only one room. Therefore, cooking facilities are usually outside. The same applies to latrines, which are usually shared by several households. Only rarely are the residents the owners of the dwellings, so that monthly rents of around 10-15 Euros are incurred.
The construction and commissioning of Kingston Hospital alone is a structural contribution to the region: On the one hand, this means improving the range of health services on offer and, on the other, creating jobs in the hospital and during the various construction phases.
Again and again we experience how illnesses of our patients are linked to the socio-economic structures: Among other things, these often lead to poor hygienic conditions, especially with regard to drinking water and latrines, and thus to various infectious diseases, malnutrition, insufficient protection against mosquitoes and thus an increased risk of malaria, low occupational safety and the associated accidents and longterm effects, as well as insufficient protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
For us, this means that it is not enough to only improve patient care in Likoni through the Kingston Hospital, but that the basic situation must be improved.
In cooperation with the locals, we therefore support the region in both short-term and long-term projects. Examples of short-term measures are food donations and donations in kind, which often do not improve the situation in the long term but are sometimes necessary in order to support until long-term projects are effective. We offer such longer-term projects for sustainable support, for example by paying for animal feed so that someone in this branch of industry can ultimately earn his/her own money, or by providing financial support for school costs that arise so that opportunities on the labour market can be increased through education.