On 17th March fire has erupted, destroying properties in Lindi near Mashimoni Squaters School. Around thirty families were left homeless.
Some victims viewing at their burnt houses
Recently other two fire incidents were reported in Gatwekera and Laini Saba respectively. Fire incidents are usually reported about three per month in Kibera. The main causes of fire range from electricity faults to gas explosions, to domestic incidents or in some cases has been alleged they could be caused deliberately by people with hidden motives. In this particular Lindi case, the fire is said to have been caused by an electricity fault.
The electricity pole in the middle of the burnt houses
After the resonance of the KNN photos on Social Media, the office of Kibra MP Ken Okoth contacted KNN and promised some assistance to the affected families:
“Tomorrow 18th March 2017, the office of Kibra Member of Parliament Hon. Kenneth Okoth will donate Blankets and Mattresses to victims of Lindi Ward. The office also asked Mashimoni Squarters Primary to accommodate the affected families tonight, and till the day affected families will structure their homes.”
The day after, the KNN team went back to witness the aftermath of the fire and talked with some of the victims. “The fire started when I was outside and since I have a broken leg, I couldn’t run in and save anything. I really appreciate that the MP office have brought us some blankets and mattresses, but only if they could help us rebuild out houses, that would be great, because now finding a house in Kibera is very difficult. In my condition I can’t walk to search for a new house and I have two children”, said Marion Ashioya.
During the distribution of the mattresses and the blankets, George Otieno, representative of the Constituency Emergency and Response Affairs, stated: “We have helped over thirty people, we brought them some blankets and mattresses so they can find something to start with. I would like to ask the County Government to ensure that each Sub-county has its own fire engine that can help in such cases. However, the landlords buildings here must also leave enough space that can enable fire engine to penetrate, save lives and properties.”
The Mashimoni Squartes Primary has hosted fifteen people since the first night, while the other affected families are hosted by neighbours as they work to rebuild their own houses.
At the distribution of the blankets and matresses
George Otieno from the office of MP leads the distribution process
After collecting data and putting around 350 Kibra schools on the map, and developing a website, there was a need to have the Kibera parents to access the data. Map Kibera’s team organized the first parents outreach at a strategic position in Olympic where people would pass and get attracted to the booth they had staged.
This activity emerged from the Open Schools Kenya project supported by the Gates Foundation aiming to make education information easily available, accessible and useful to everyone as well as promoting data interoperability. This was a pilot project in Kibera that saw every school have a profile page with all their details ranging from the population to gender to programs offered to school fees to contact information etc.
By checking the school profile pages Map Kibera hoped that Kibera parents would be able to make informed choices of which schools to take their children to, depending on their capabilities and also preferences.
Parents started flocking around the booth, mostly interested to see in the map schools that their children attend. However, after seeing more details from the website they would spend more time checking the number of students per school and how much school fees different schools charge.
Joshua Ogure of Map Kibera demonstrates to parents how the Open Schools Kenya website works
“I can use this map when I need to transfer my child to a desired school because I now have all the information I need here,” says Stephene Otiende, a Kibera parent whose child goes to one of the public schools around.
Mr. Otiende was specifically happy that he would be able to check how much a school charges as well as it population before sending his child to any given school in Kibra. However a parent named Irene was quick to identify that her child’s school was missing in the map. “Why it is that Star of Hope and Charles Lwanga are missing here?” she asked. On trying to navigate the map, it was true the schools in question were missing, perhaps the school was too hidden, had relocated, changed name or just did not accept to be mapped. Those were some of the possible reasons that could lead to a school missing in the map. This information has helped Map Kibera identify any missing schools, which the mappers have already begun adding into the site.
Around 25 parents visited the booth and walked away with a paper copy of the schools map, and got a chance to view and navigate some other details of their children’s schools from the Open Schools Kenya website.
Lucy, Steve and Zack of Map Kibera at the booth
Now Map Kibera team is mapping the few missing schools and updating some of the key information and data. The next step is to start adding schools in other regions of Nairobi, and Kenya.
However, informal schools within the settlements like Kibera Slum, which make up 96% of the schools there, will not benefit from this directive to acquire title deeds since they lie on government land until the land ownership issue is permanently sorted out.
Speaking at the event, the National Lands Commission Vice-Chairperson Mrs. Abigael Bagaya noted,
“Since the Langata incident, the Government has taken action to secure schools across the country. The Commission has received 5000 applications from including Lang’ata Road Primary School. We have received complaints of land grabs from 350 schools. It is for this reason, we launch these national guidelines. We promise to issue all titles within 60 days of receipt.”
Also speaking at the event, Elimu Yetu Coalition Coordinator Janet Muthoni said,
“The Right to Play and the Right to Education is provided in the key international conventions and the Constitution of Kenya. The Government must revoke the title deeds for the Lang’ata Road Primary School from the private developer. The Government needs to appoint or empower an alternative to the interdicted Registrar Sarah Mwenda. The vacuum caused by her absence is causing a delay in meeting the Presidential directive to the 5,000 schools awaiting tittle-deeds.”
Also present were the public interest campaigners Boaz Waruku and Irungu Housghton arrested in the January 2015 incident, Irungu, SID Associate Director said,
“The courage of the children of Lang’ata Road has inspired a nation. Since January, there have been over thirty reclamations of schools and other public lands by the Government and active citizens. As we celebrate the African Day of the Child tomorrow on June 16 we honour their courage and call for all citizens and leaders to protect places of learning.”
Guide to Securing title deeds for schools:
Step 1- The school heads submit an application for a tittle deed to the Secretary, County Land Management Board
Step 2- The County Land Management Board (CLMB) will process the application to ensure it meets all requirements.
Step 3- CLMB approves the application and submits it to National Land Commission (NLC) for issuance of the letter of allotment.
Step 4- Pay administration fee for processing the title deed.
Step 5- NLC prepares the school’s lease document and submits to the Chief Land Registrar.
Step 6- The Chief Land Registrar registers the lease and issues a tittle deed to the school.
How you can report a case of Land-grabbing?
Step 1: Document the name of the school, plot number, county, total schools acreage, acreage grabbed, persons/agencies who have grabbed land and what they are using it for currently.
Step 2: Report the matter to the nearest police station and obtain an Occurrence Book (OB) number.
Step 3: You can report the information and OB number to a number of agencies and copy us. See (www.shuleyangu.co.ke)