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9 sqm

Ugandan survival artists making do with nothing



   Nine square meters – that’s a tiny house, not by minimalist design, but by virtue of maximum destitution. Ugandan single moms raising their families of 4,5,6 in this suburb of Kampala are survival artists, and so are their kids. In their definition of home, house becomes synonymous with room, and there isn’t much room to house them. No plumbing. That comes with all sorts of deprivation at the most basic level. No toilet. No shower. No kitchen sink. Water has to be carried in jerrycans for miles.

Typically, a clothesline ties the room together, most literally, and the entire family’s wardrobe expands like a rainbow over that one bed, if there is one. During the night, the ground is a bed too; during the day, it is a table and chairs.


Cooking is done with a fire bucket, often under hazardous health conditions inside the house. Sometimes, lunch can be as little as a shared bag of popcorn.