Struggle for a pot of drinking water at Bhuri Tekri, Indor. photo by India Water Portal

Water water everywhere…who gets a drop to drink?

(apologies for the unfinished version that posted early) People tell us not to drink the city water, though some of the poorest families around us do. We run all the water we intend to drink through a ceramic water filter, and hope that is enough to make the city water safe to drink. At least …

Continue reading Water water everywhere…who gets a drop to drink?

How much land does a family need?

My first slum homestay was in a large, decrepit house. The entrance was split into narrow hallways by particle boards. I followed my homestay "brother" down one of the makeshift paths to the right, then left, right then two more lefts, shuffling between flimsy dividers that didn't leave enough space for my shoulders. We arrived …

Continue reading How much land does a family need?

what is a slum slum definition majority world

What is a slum?

Most folk don't want to hear me talk about slums. I once thought that slum life would make this blog unique. The internet is saturated with almost everything, but there aren't many English-speaking slum bloggers. Maybe people wouldn't want to hear what I had to say about money, power, or nonviolence, but at least they'd …

Continue reading What is a slum?

Recycling is not the answer

Last week Holly mentioned that plastic recycling is in trouble in America too. I found out from an article in the Atlantic that cities across the country have ended their recycling programs. Why? Because China has stopped accepting our soiled trash due to health risks, environmental damage, and increased labor costs. Without tens of thousands of Chinese …

Continue reading Recycling is not the answer

The slum recycles the city, but…

When my young friend Hamza built his electric cars, he procured the material from local recycling shops. This network of recyclers is a remarkable process quite unlike anything we see in the West. In America we took our recyclable material to large depots in industrial zones. Here in the majority world those depots tend to …

Continue reading The slum recycles the city, but…