Margaret Mumbua- Domestic Worker

Today’s post continues on the theme of Tax injustice and inequality gap. “Tax havens fuel inequality and hold back the fight against poverty”- OxfamGB.

We follow the story of Margaret Mumbua, 46 a domestic worker who resides in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben.

Margaret Mumbua,46, outside her home in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, cleans her home in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, at her home in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016

Perhaps you have come across these groups of women that sit outside different estates in Nairobi. One picks them if you need work e.g laundry/cleaning done in your house. Margaret is one of them. She works in Eastleigh area, and has regular clients, when not working for them she sits outside the flats waiting for work.

Domestic workers sitting outside a block of flats, where they wait for work from wealthier residents in Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya. 2016

 

We had an early start so that we could be at her place before she left for work. Navigating through Mukuru wa Reuben is a bit of a puzzle if you don’t know the area, so we had to get a local to guide us through. We found Margaret just as she was preparing for work, she had a quick cup of tea and set off for work.

Margaret Mumbua, 46,a domestic worker, at her home taking tea in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46,a domestic worker, at her home in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, preparing to go to work, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, at her home in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, preparing to go to work, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46,a domestic worker, at her home in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, preparing to go to work, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, heading to work from her house in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016

 

Mukuru kwa Reuben as is the case with many informal settlements in Nairobi, has drainage /waste disposal problem.  So trash and sewage is a common sight. This is what residents of Mukuru have to live with.

Early morning scene at the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben as residents head to work, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016

Margaret is supper energetic this morning and we have to keep running after her to keep up, as she walks the narrow streets of Mukuru kwa Reuben.

Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, heading to work from her house in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, heading to work from her house in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, heading to work from her house in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Early morning scene at the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben as residents head to work, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Power lines feeding thousands of houses in Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Power lines feeding thousands of houses in Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016

 

Once in Eastleigh she has a chat with fellow colleagues and then gets to work.

Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, chats with fellow domestic workers, outside flats where they wait for work from residents, Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, heading to work in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, washing clothes outside her employer’s house in Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, takes the washing up to dry at her employer’s house in Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, hangs the washing up to dry at her employer’s house in Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya. 2016
Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, hangs the washing up to dry at her employer’s house in Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya. 2016

In conclusion ‘The gap between rich and poor gets wider, with a massive increase in wealth at the top, while the total wealth owned by those at the bottom is falling. In 2015, the richest 62 people on the planet owned as much as the poorest half of humanity. 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined.’

If we are going to end extreme inequality and poverty, we must call on world leaders to end the era of tax havens and create a fair global tax system.

Oxfam

 

Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, takes a break from her household chores in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016

 

 

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