Security Map Draws Attention in Kibera

by: April 10th, 2013 comments: 0

Map Kibera Trust has completed painting a security map on two walls in Kibera as a community outreach program.

Wall Painting in Kibera

Wall painting played a big role in providing key security information during the just concluded general election; particularly to visitors and even the locals who don’t know about certain political hotspots, and unsecure places in Kibera.

The state of the identified wall. It was dirty full of political aspirants’ posters. The first duty was to clean it up.

The exercise was coordinated by Millicent Achieng and Douglas Namale; who worked together with Mappers and other stakeholders. The stakeholders were the Provincial Administration, District Peace Committee (DPC), Labour Youth Group, Youth Reform, and Community Artists, opinion leaders, youth leaders and political leaders and Map Kibera Trust staff.

The youth groups helped to identify the walls and are providing security to the painted walls protecting them from political posters and other interests.  We had four consultative meetings with stakeholders to identify the map to be painted on the wall from the five thematic maps developed by MKT.  The stakeholders settled on the security map, because it coincided with the general elections expected to take place in March 4th 2013.

Labour Youth group and Youth Reform played a key role to secure the wall where the map was to be painted. They also volunteered to provide security during and after painting.  Labour youth group also helped us get the best artist who painted the map on the wall. It’s worth mentioning that the artist is also a Kibera youth. The artist also volunteered to help MKT secure walls in other parts of Kibera to paint the same map.

Coordination between the Artist, Labour Youth Group, Youth Reform and MKT office was cordial.  They coordinated with Mappers well, to facilitate the exercise.  The artist’s flexibility made it possible for many adjustments on the map during the exercise, before the final map was accepted.


Millicent, Diana and Douglas clearing the identified wall

Immediately the wall painting started, we witnessed crowds gathering next to the venue and watched the artist as he painted.  Village and religious leaders congratulated the work and pointed at some areas we had identified as black spots which they confirmed to be so.

DPCs and the Provincial Administration also confirmed the wall image as a good idea. School children stood and watched the map, and some teachers are now referring to the map in their lessons. We have also received visitors in the office, who have confirmed to have been directed by the map painted on the wall.


Wall identification was challenging. We used different methods which failed before we settled on the Youth groups.   City council of Nairobi demanded Ksh. 9000 as advertisement fees and other unexplained fees with other draconian procedures which made it impossible to paint the wall.  Although the City council demanded the advertisement fee, they could not guarantee security of the painted wall. It’s worth mentioning that the city council does not have the wall, the walls belongs to private developers, who are denied jurisdiction to accept anybody to paint or draw anything without the City council’s consent.

A complete painted along Kibera drive.

Apart from the city council melee, some of the walls painted were not wide enough to accommodate the map contents correctly; the artist had to squeeze the contents to fit.  Another problem was that some of the data on the map was obsolete because it was about one and half years old. This was attributed to the extended time spent to search for the walls. The shorter period allocated to planning also played a role to this since the data Mappers had collected did not feature on the map which was painted on the wall.

Despite all this, the two walls painted has increased Map Kibera Trust’s contents visibility offline by a huge margin, particularly the general public who are not members of organized groups like NGOs, CBOs and Youth groups. The visibility offline can increase if more walls can be identified and painted in other villages in Kibera, particularly along busy streets and paths.

Opinion leaders nominated to lead election monitoring

by: November 23rd, 2012 comments: 0

A team of about twenty opinion leaders have been elected to lead election monitoring in Kibra and Karen/Langatta constituencies.

The leaders were elected in a forum organized by Map Kibera Trust, on 24th of October 2012 at Mchanganyiko hall, in Kibra constituency.

During the forum (KNN coverage on youtube), participants identified issues to be monitored, and suggested to host debates, where the aspirants contesting various positions will be interrogated. The aspirants will be required to explain to the citizens their manifestos, ideologies and plans.

Map Kibera Trust executive director, Kepha Ngito said over 60% of all Nairobi residents stay in slums, and stressed the need for the citizens to embrace Citizen Journalism to tell the world the happenings around them during the election period. “Map Kibera Trust exists to amplify citizen’s voices”, said Kepha. He added election monitoring team will be tasked to monitor what the main stream and local media will be reporting, the happenings at the polling stations during election, security concerns and political leaders’ utterances, before, during and after elections.

Kepha also mentioned the need to dig deeper into election related violence, and unearth what key institutions and leaders are doing, their roles, failures and successes. Pamoja FM programs manager, Philip Muhatia, said there was need for reporters to adhere to journalistic ethics to avoid what happened in 2007/2008 post election violence. Muhatia also advised the forum to identify who they were reporting to, since media influence could as well fuel conflicts.

Participants pointed on the need to create structures where classified contents from the community will be directed. Others suggested the creation of other advocacy tools to help to amplify their voices. Among the tools suggested were the Umande Trust dialogue forums between the community and political aspirants, Kibera Mirror newspaper, Pamoja FM, Mtaani Insight and the current Map Kibera available tools.

There was also a suggestion to harmonize the work of different Civic Society Organizations doing similar things in Kibera. They also suggested development of a memorandum to be signed by all political leaders outlining their commitments on fostering peace.

If you are interested in reading more details, the we have posted the Stake Holders Forum Report.