Concrete slum? Why Pipeline residents cover wet clothes with plastic bags
Though the Government banned plastics a few years ago, residents of Pipeline are not about to let go of them. Plastics come in handy to those living in flats whenever they air their clothes out to dry. They use plastic covers to protect their clothes from dust or water dripping from the upper floors. Most of the flats are up to seventh or eighth floor, each house built with a balcony, where one can tie a clothes line. During dry spells, the place is so dusty that hanging clothes without a plastic cover is a waste of time. They gather so much dust and end up looking unwashed.
It is for this reason that almost every storeyed building here has plastic covers covering clothesline. This might look strange to an outsider but for residents it is a normal occurrence. Enock Mutua, a caretaker in one of the flats, said the practice is common and that tenants do it to keep their clothes clean.
“Here, there are flats of up to eight floors and people wash at different times. Some people have clothes that shed colour, others do not properly wring out excess water from the clothes and if you do not cover your clothes, you might find them ruined or wet long after you washed them,” said Mutua.
He added that when there are new apartments to be occupied, prospective tenants run for the top floors.
Love for top floors
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“One is never sure unless you live in the top most floor. Some of the buildings have space on the roof tops for tenants to air clothes,” said Mutua.
He further said that many choose to put up with the “small problems” because houses are affordable.
“Most of the houses here are single rooms, bedsitters and one bedroom which range from Sh5,000 to Sh9,000,” said Mutua.
Derrick Chenge, a resident of Pipeline, said he would rather cover his clothes even if they stayed on the clothes line for three days than leave them uncovered to come and find them ruined.
“Have you seen the dust that is around here? I cannot allow it to go to my clothes, especially the white ones. I cover them all the time,” Chenge said.
He added that they were forced to do this because of insensitive neighbours who do not care whether others have clothes outside.
“The person who stays above you will not wait for your clothes to dry and ask you to remove them. It is up to you to protect your clothes,” Chenge said.