Creating space: Sack gardening as a livelihood strategy in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya
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As many countries in sub-Saharan Africa undergo rapid urbanization, a growing number of people are joining the ranks of the urban poor. Urban agriculture is a livelihood strategy used by the poor to improve their well-being, but it has remained largely inaccessible to inhabitants of slums, who generally lack access to land to farm. However, in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya, a relatively new form of urban agriculture has emerged, called sack gardening, in which farmers plant crops into the sides and tops of large sacks of soil. Our research asked how participation in sack gardening served to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the Kibera slums of Nairobi. We demonstrate that urban agriculture can be a viable and important livelihood strategy for households, even in densely populated slum environments. Low-space urban agricultural activities like sack gardening should receive greater consideration as part of urban development initiatives.