Impact of Covid-19 on the Wellbeing of School Going Children in Kibra Slum, Nairobi, Kenya


  • Felix Kiruthu Kenyatta University
  • Hillary Omala Carolina for Kibera
  • Wilson Muna Kenyatta University
  • Ann Kungu Carolina for Kibera
  • Abba Babamaragana Kenyatta University



Covid, hand washing, informal settlement, social distancing, wellbeing


The scourge of Covid-19 has led to loss of livelihoods and disruption of social life and economic activities globally. Government containment measures, like travel restrictions and lockdowns have adversely affected urban communities, particularly those living in slum areas. The study examined how the pandemic has impacted on the wellbeing of school going children in Kibra, the largest informal settlement in East Africa. It interrogated how the closure of schools has disrupted their normal life, including learning, diet, care and protection by caregivers. The effect of the pandemic on parents was also interrogated for the same purpose. The research collected both quantitative and qualitative data. Semi-structured questionnaire was administered among 52 parents and 132 school going children randomly selected from both primary and secondary schools. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze quantitative data while thematic analysis was employed to analyse qualitative data. Results from the study showed that school closure due to restrictions imposed following the threat of COVID-19 revealed unprecedented threats and vulnerabilities among children, including physical and emotional abuse, sexual harassment, neglect, and lack of proper diet, attributed to lack of income among parents. The study recommends increased government action in designing intervention policy measures to remedy the situation.

Author Biographies

Felix Kiruthu, Kenyatta University

Senior Lecturer & Director Kenyatta university City Campus

Hillary Omala, Carolina for Kibera

Executive Director, Carolina for Kibera (CFK)


Wilson Muna, Kenyatta University

Lecturer Kenyatta University Department of  Public Policy and Administration

Ann Kungu, Carolina for Kibera

Partnership And Fundraising Manager Carolina for Kibera (Kenya)

Abba Babamaragana, Kenyatta University

PhD student Kenyatta University Department of  Public Policy and Administration





How to Cite

Kiruthu, F., Omala, H., Muna, W., Kungu, A., & Babamaragana, A. (2021). Impact of Covid-19 on the Wellbeing of School Going Children in Kibra Slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Msingi Journal, 5(2), 40–48.

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