Fire is disastrous in the slum as shanties are so densely located and built from largely flammable materials. Footpaths, the only means of moving through the slum are not wide enough to accomodate fire trucks, leaving residents to fight blazes with buckets of water fetched from the Mathare River.
Here, a street boy is paid to pick up sheets of corrugated metal the morning after a fire. Such sheets will be reused as siding, but new sheets without holes much be purchased for roofing. When standing on the rim of the Mathare Valley slums, one can pick out which areas of the slum have suffered a fire recently by looking for patches of shiny, new roofing.