If you live in some parts of Nairobi, you will have to sit and watch - with your naked eyes - as your wet laundry dries. Or else it will change ownership faster than you can say “Handshake.”
The petty thievery of clothes from the hang lines is notorious in Eastlands, with areas like Mathare North, Dandora, Baba Dogo and Githurai taking the trophy.
The Nairobian has established that wet laundry is a ‘hot cake’ - and is often stolen alongside your
The situation is worse during school holidays as the number of idle youth in need of pocket money goes up - and
Joan Nyambura, a Mathare resident, once went to pick her crying baby in the house only to come back and find her new duvet gone.
“It took me three minutes to pick my baby, but on returning to the balcony, it was gone from the clothing line,” she says.
Moses Wafula - a security guard who often works at night - says he lost everything including underwear, uniform
“They stole all my inner pants until I was left with one - and that’s because I was wearing it that day. Often, I have had to sit and watch them dry whenever I do my laundry,” says Wafula adding that perpetrators are mostly idle youth, high school
Wafula adds that the petty thieves also steal food cooking on balconies - and that most people “have lost their stoves together with whatever they were cooking. I was personally forced to buy
Mathare area Assistant Chief John Kithinji confirmed handling several cases per week with the most notorious places being Mathare Area B, Mathare 4B and Mlango Kubwa along Juja Road in Nairobi. He adds that perpetrators are residents working in cahoots with crooked outsiders.
Mathare Area community chairperson Christopher
He says a woman was caught red-handed by a
Ongweny says residents had resolved to only rent houses to tenants bearing copies of their ID cards and a letter from their previous residence to curb the situation, but this has never been taken seriously.
Anne Nyambura - a tomato
Residents of Baba Dogo and Dandora claim stealing of wet clothes happens during garbage collection. That garbage bags are used to ferry wet clothes from lines and other valuables on balconies. Other items stolen include pegs, towels and in the case of Pipeline and some parts of Embakasi, shoes left at doorsteps.
Rufton Ng’iela a
Sam Nyakundi, a caretaker, blames the vice on sale of
Nyakundi says, “It is the same residents who buy these stolen items and this encourages the thieves.”
Other areas where