Election Day Closes in Kibera

by: March 4th, 2013 comments: 0

As of 9:30pm Nairobi time, polls have closed after a day of long lines, a few serious mishaps, but mostly peaceful and organized voting.

In summary, in Kibera:

Long queues formed as early as 4am, and while polls were due to open at 6am, some polls were ready, some were not.

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Traffic at olympic is enormous; 12 long lines all of which have stretched outside the gate with thousands of voters already queuing to vote yet its only 5 am 1 hour to voting time! “We have to vote by all means, this will ensure that we get in the credible leaders we have always wanted to elect.”

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The turnout of voters at Holy Trinity polling station is great and the queue is moving steadily as everyone awaits a chance to make his/her voice heard as to the leaders to elect. Voters came as early as 4am.

Queues remained long in some places throughout most of the day, due to some malfunction with the Biometric Voter Registration (BKR) kits, and mismatches with backup paper registrations. Also, the complexity of the new voting process (with president, senators, mps, etc etc) caused some confusion and delay.

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At Dc grounds polling station, voters are being pulled out of the line simply because there names are not in the registers but available in the IEBC system

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The Situation at Mashimoni squatters is well though the queues are long upto the bridge( around Gogo boys)but is moving slowly and no one is complaining so far.

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At DC grounds voters who turned out in large numbers,are complaining that given the six Elective positions to vote for,its time consuming and are many.
Kenyans, initially are not used to voting to such positions as provided in the new constitution.
The positions include: The Presidential,The senate,county Representative,the women representative and that for the Member of Parliament.
Many voters have resorted to voting only for one elective position as they check out.

The most serious disruption reported in Kibera was a fire this morning at Nyayo High-rise, Langatta.

The fire which started at around 9.30am has gutted about 30 houses at the border between Soweto east and Silanga. Property of unknown value has been destroyed.

Residents left the long queues and rushed to rescue their properties.

Everyone was out to vote. Mothers and the disabled were given speedier access. The very sick and even drunken came out. To much fanfare, Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga voted at Old Kibera Primary School. Police were present at all polling stations, ensuring voting was peaceful even under the pressure of long lines and malfunctions.

Overall, things went smoothly. Polls closed, some places remaining open for those in line at closing time, and vote counting has started. Businesses have reopened and Kibera and all of Kenya are settling in for the evening, awaiting the results.

The Map Kibera team had a very long day, and have turned in for the evening. They’ll be up again tomorrow to report as the results start coming in.

Busy hive of activity

Election Maps for the Slums of Nairobi

by: March 3rd, 2013 comments: 0

Map Kibera has distributed election maps in Kibera and Mathare, after months of hard work planning, meeting, surveying, editing, producing, and printing. Here are the maps, linked to larger versions for download/printing if you like.

These maps are in the hands of community networks, peace building organizations, monitors, and security services. This culminated yesterday with Inspector General Kimaiyo receiving a map; essentially the top police officer in the country.

The process began almost 6 months ago, with mappers discussing what kind of data should be collected for the election. They settled on constituency and ward boundaries, which had changed following the adoption of the new Constitution, and details on every polling place in the slums. The IEBC had officially made available descriptions and rough, non-geo-referenced images of the new boundaries, and lists of the polling places. Helpful, but since these weren’t released as geospatial data, everything needed surveying by the team. The local IEBC officials were supportive of the mapping process.

(The IEBC inadvertently made some data available, which was scrapable. But it only covered to the constituency level, and almost half of the polling places in the slums were not located at all.)

Beyond the location, mappers collected details on the facility, contact information, numbers of staff, numbers of registered voters, accessibility, and closest services. They produced this form, and these JOSM presets. All of this is stored in OpenStreetMap. It’s not immediately visible on osm.org, but peak behind at the data, for example Lindi Mosque.

The next step, extracting and producing Shapefiles for use in GIS, was the only point where I was substantially involved. Every other step was led by the mappers, who after three years are fully professional in their practice. The shapefiles were produced, and are available for download here and here.

Zack took the lead on map production. We’ve benefited from the support of ESRI East Africa, including Zack’s attendance at the last user conference. He used those skills to produce two maps, then sent to the printer over the past couple weeks, and distributed throughout the community. The reaction has been wonderful.

We created tiles in TileMill, for use on Voice of Kibera and Voice of Mathare.

How Rumours Lead to Violence in Kibera Politics

by: February 8th, 2013 comments: 1

This post by our member Steve Banner, of Kibera News Network (originally posted on the Voice of Kibera) explains how rumours resulted in violence during the recent party candidate nominations in January. A distinct mistrust of official channels of information is evident: if no one knows what to believe, suspicion and anger are quick to arise. This is one reason that Map Kibera is working to build accurate and trusted local networks of information in Nairobi slums during the upcoming elections.

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Destruction of Red Rose School, Kibera. Photo by Lee Ibrahim.

Kibera street political analysts, as I may call them, and rumour mongers, have a very thin line separating them if the happenings of the past few days is anything to go by.

After fierce campaigns on 6th and 7th January, the ODM nominations were to take place on 18th. The 18th came and people went to vote in one peace each confident that his or her candidate will clinch the party ticket.

After a full day of voting, rumours took over and went round on Friday 19th that the ODM Sarangombe county representative ticket had gone to Mr. Owino Ko’tieno, this was later to be confirmed by the returning officer at olympic primary school polling station.

The same rumours claimed that Mr. Amayo, a Kibra MP contestant had clinched the ODM ticket, hours later the same rumours reversed their claim that the confirmed winner was Mr. Ken Okoth. I never got to know how the confirmation came about and never bothered to ask since one didn’t actually need to ask, they would tell it to you anyway.

So I came to believe it when a friend told me that Mr. Ken Okoth had actually updated on social media that he had clinched the ODM ticket to run for Kibra MP.

It was at this point that the street political analysts of Kibera picked the story, and by saying street political analysts, I mean those individuals who stand by the roadside especially at newspapers vending points with a handful crowd around them, as they analyze the political situation of the moment. Try walking at olympic or kamkunji grounds, Kibera on a Sunday and you can’t miss them.

On this day, they took to analyze the possibility of Mr. Ken Okoth winning and how he had done it. According to one such analyst, Mr. Ken Okoth had only won in 2 polling stations and therefore could not be declared the winner. He argued that laini saba area residents had not been allowed to vote, and the area, according to him, was an Amayo stronghold.

As the rumour picked the story and went round with it, breaking it down in different versions, it seemed a group of youths decided to react to the rumour and marched to orange house in kilimani area, which houses ODM headquaters, to allegedly protest over why laini saba residents were denied a chance to participate in the nominations, where they were reported to have engaged in property destruction.

And despite the ODM electoral board announcing on a press conference that no certificate had been issued to any candidate yet, a rumour still went round that Mr. Owino Ko’tieno, who had been announced the winner of county rep. ODM ticket, had been denied the certificate, and, according to the rumour, given to Mr. Kajwang, who was also contesting for county representative ODM ticket in sarangombe. It’s believed that this could have been the reason for the rowdiness that followed thereafter that led to youths engaging in property destruction at Redrose school in olympic, a school that is believed to be owned by Mr. Ken Okoth, who, according to random sources in Kibera, was being accused of working to make sure Mr. Owino Kotieno did not have the certificate. There were several versions of this story depending on who you ask, and which side he/she supported and the mood on the ground. In one particular version, Mr. Ken Okoth is alleged to have been asked who he wanted to work with and mentioned Kajwang instead of Kotieno, but I could never tell who to believe among the several story tellers I listened to.

And even after ODM board made it clear that no certificate had been issued, the youths went ahead to lay barricades along Kibera drive near olympic stage.

Moments later, police from the general service unit were deployed to quell the lawlessness and violence. Running battles ensued, leaving scores of people injured among them 2 journalists from the mainstream media.

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