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Africa’s Top 13 List Of Worst Slums – Nigerian Slums Dominate List…. [See Full List]

Africa, being the second largest continent in the world has an approximate population of 1.1 billion people. More than 60 percent of this population dwells in the slums. A slum is defined as an informal heavily populated urban settlement characterized by the poor quality housing such as shanties and makeshift houses. Africa’s list of worst slums brings to our knowledge the harsh living conditions experienced by the slum dwellers such as insecurity, poor sanitation, lack of clean water supply and last but not least, congestion.

Tough economic times in Africa have seen an expansion in the size of slums as well as an increase in a number of slum dwellers. People living in slums have opted to bear hurdles of slum life since life there is quite affordable.

Africa’s List of Worst Slums

Name of The Slum Country Found
Kibera Kenya
Kroo Bay Sierra Leone
Mathare Kenya
West Point Liberia
Makoko Nigeria
Korogocho Kenya
Kawangware Kenya
Kiambiu Kenya
Agbogbloshie Ghana
Clara Town Liberia
Ilaje Nigeria
Kangemi Kenya
Shomolu Nigeria

This article will talk about Africa’s worst slums, what makes them be regarded as slum dwellings, that is, their salient features and in which country they are situated. You may as well want to have a look at the biggest refugee camp in the continent.

Kibera, Kenya

Africa’s list of worst slums

Kibera is famed for being the largest urban slum dwelling in the African continent. It is located on the outskirts of the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi. Kibera is considered to be one of the most dangerous slums in Africa because of the high levels of lawlessness and insecurity in the area.

It has an approximate populated of around 2.5 million dwellers. This is close to 50 percent of Nairobi’s population. It is characterized by sprawling iron sheet, timber, plastic and cardboard houses, poor sanitation as it lacks a sewerage system, lack of clean supply of water, high crime rate and last but not least, congestion.

Due to its massive size, Kibera is subdivided into several villages namely: Kianda, Kisumu Ndogo, Laini Saba, Gatwekera, Siranga, Mashimoni, Makina and Soweto East.

Kroo Bay, Sierra Leone

Situated in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, Kroo Bay looks like a dumping site. It is filled with debris in every little space it has. It is one of the poorest places in Sierra Leone. Kroo Bay is faced with the challenge of poor sanitation to the extent that 95 percent of houses in this slum lack toilets and a supply of clean water.

Mathare, Kenya

Mathare is made up of a collection of quite a number of slums. It is located on the outskirts of Nairobi city. It is estimated that over five hundred thousand people dwell call this slum home.

It is considered as one of the worst slums in Africa because a lot of gang violence and robbery is experienced here. The illicit brew is also made and sold in this slum by some of its inhabitants as a source of livelihood.


West Point, Liberia

Located on a peninsula between rivers Saint Paul and Mesurado, which then flow into the Atlantic Ocean, is the West Point slum. The slum’s estimated population amounts to over seventy-five thousand people.

The greatest challenge facing the inhabitants of this slum is overpopulation and waterborne and bacterial diseases such as cholera and tuberculosis.

Makoko, Nigeria

This slum dwelling is situated in Lagos, Nigeria. It is one of the oldest slums in this country which originally started off as a fishing village residence. Makoko has a population of over eighty-six thousand persons. Housing in this slum is in such a deplorable state such that many structures are erected on stilts above Lagos Lagoon.

Korogocho, Kenya

As its name suggests, Korogocho means crowded. It is located in a shanty town on the outskirts of the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi. Over two hundred thousand persons live in this slum.

It is characterized by thousands of sprawling tin houses, poor sanitation, and overpopulation.

Kawangware, Kenya

Just like its predecessor, Kawangware is located within the environs of Nairobi city. It has a very large population, which keeps on growing with each passing day. Kawangware is plagued by poor sanitation, overcrowding and inadequate supply of safe drinking water such that many inhabitants have to purchase drinking water. This is quite unfortunate because most of them are not financially endowed, to afford them drinking water on a daily basis.

Kiambiu, Kenya

This slum dwelling is one of the many located within Nairobi city. With a population of over fifty thousand residents, Kiambiu faces the challenge of poor sanitation, lack of infrastructure such as good roads and last but not least, inadequate supply of clean water.

However, of late, the government, in conjunction with some foreign donors, have started water and sanitation projects in this slum to alleviate some of the challenges the residents of this slum face and improve their standards of living as well.

Agbogbloshie, Ghana

Africa’s list of worst slums

Popularly known as Sodom and Gomorrah, Agbogbloshie is found in the southern part of Ghana.

Its population amounts to over eighty thousand persons.  Apart from being labeled as one of the most dangerous slums in Africa due to high crime rate, it is also the largest dumping site in the world. The most saddening thing about this is that an electronic dump site is also located here.

This has caused some of the slum dwellers serious health challenges emanating from radioactivity.

Clara Town, Liberia

Clara Town is quite a mess. Located on a swampy place on Barshod Island, its streets are usually flooded most of the time. Stagnant water has caused the locals many health hazards such as malaria, water-borne diseases such as cholera and bilharzia.

Its rubbish-strewn streets are quite an eyesore.

Ilaje, Nigeria

Dwellers of this slum located in Nigeria live under sordid conditions. The slum is densely populated and is characterized by poor sanitation, lack of clean water, and last but not least, water-borne diseases such as cholera which is mostly caused by poor hygiene. High levels of crime and insecurity have made it one of Africa’s worst slums.

Kangemi, Kenya

Of all the slums located in Nairobi, Kangemi is the one that is home to many ethnic groups of them all. Over one hundred thousand people live in this slum. Kangemi is comprised of thousands of sprawling tin and mud houses. The major challenge faced by its inhabitants is lack of a sewerage system to channel their waste. This has led to channeling of effluent to the Nairobi River using trenches dug up by the locals.

Shomolu, Nigeria

Located in Ikeja Division, Lagos State Nigeria, this slum is characterized by poor infrastructure and high crime rate.


Tough economic times and joblessness have pushed persons into living in deplorable conditions. Africa’s list of worst slums has depicted the effects of the above-mentioned factors in detail. If only governments of African countries could diversify their economies and increase job opportunities, then the living conditions of slum dwellers would improve and some would even migrate to other better dwelling places.


Written by How Africa

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