Road Cuts Kibera in Two, Displacing Residents, Schools

by: July 28th, 2018 comments: 0

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The morning of Monday July 23, residents woke up to a shock of heavy police presence and bulldozer ready to bring down their homes. The demolition started by 7am as the residents watch in disbelief. It was at the same time a race against time to be able to rescue whatever property they could from their houses. Children ran around helter skelter, women cried helplessly and everyone carried away whatever they considered important to them.

The road will go from Yaya Center to join Langata road, through Lindi into Kibera South Health Center from DC’s area. Around 30,000 families have been affected by the demolition. The road was identified in 2014 and is meant to ease traffic within Nairobi city.

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Kibera residents have been living with a lot of uncertainty in the recent past. Not so long ago we witnessed the Kenya Railway decanting sites being demolished, leaving around 1000 residents homeless, some of whom even had housing allocation numbers and the key without a house. Just before that there was a major demolition all round Moi girls where a form two student girl was reported to have been raped by unknown person. Now, a huge road is cutting Kibera slum into two.

The residents had been given a notice to vacate the area, however, at the time of the demolition there was already a postponement order. There had been three different maps showing different routes that the road would pass. How were the residents supposed to know which road map would eventually be used? This led to a lot of push and pull between Kibera activists, civil societies and the government. Questioning who diverted the road three times and why was not futile. Several meetings were held between the affected persons, Kenya Urban Roads Authority, Kenya National Human Rights Commission, and the National Lands Commission trying to find an amicable solution to the issue and the best way the demolition would be carried out humanly. The two weeks’ notice was then extended indefinitely awaiting an enumeration and the development of a Relocation Action Plan, something that might have relieved the affected persons for a while. There was also a case in court awaiting ruling on the same issue. However, all this was disregarded that morning of July 23rd.

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The 10 acres road has also cost the Kibera people more than 10 schools, as well as churches and community based organizations. The schools as mapped by Map Kibera includes Egesa School, Makina Self Help Group, Makina Baptist, PEFA, Good News, New Horizon, Love Africa, Mashimoni Primary, Mashimoni Secondary, Mashimoni Squaters, Saviour Kings

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It’s at such times that many residents wondered whether they really belong to the country Kenya.

“We are not against the road passing, but can’t it be done with some dignity?” says the Founder of Egesa school. The schools only had one week to take their end term exams. The students will therefore not sit the exam. “It’s very unfortunate for the children who will miss their end term exam simply because of some greed, selfish and in human act.”

Don’t forget that the road has also robbed off Kibera their only social playground near DC’s area. How does it feel when a road has robbed you off your home, your livelihood, your church, your children’s school, your only social playground? People have also lost jobs. Only a few people would be in a position to find themselves a new place or even afford to travel back to their upcountry homes.

“This is the greatest betrayal I have ever seen from the government, see how people are calm no one is even reacting or protesting because they made us to calm the people down, promising to tackle the issue smoothly,” lamented Ben Ooko, the founder for Amani Kibera, a Community Resource Center that also suffered demolition. “I got a call very early in the morning that the police were heading here with a bulldozer, and I just rushed here to see. We really didn’t expect this because we had kind of reached an agreement with KURA in the presence of KNHRC, and so we were waiting for their guidance.” That morning Ben had posted on his Facebook, “Today is my birthday, and I get a gift of demolition.”

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Some people believed that this is a scheme by the government to try and finish Kibera in a bid to weaken the opposition, but where is Raila the former Prime Minister? Why is he so quiet on this? Kibra MP Hon Ken Okoth, who is currently out of the country, has in the recent past made a lot of noise on social media to have his people handled with some dignity even as they move from road reserve. But neither him nor Makina MCA Hon. Magembe could lobby to stop the demolition. Amnesty International accused the government for not following the agreement to relocate the persons affected, terming it a violation of Human Rights according to the International Human rights obligation. Is there such a thing as Human Rights and Constitutions to the people of Kibera? Article 40 of the Kenyan Constitution provides that those who occupy land without title deeds may be compensated in a good faith. What next? Who next? Where else? When next? How else? These are some of the questions lingering in the heads of Kibera residents.
Till when will Kibera people live with all these fears?

By Joshua Ogure

Our Year In a Nutshell

by: January 11th, 2018 comments: 1

As the year 2018 has just began, everyone is busy writing resolutions, some reviewing what worked last year and what they need to change while others are writing new resolutions for the year. We at Map Kibera also took time to reflect on how the year 2017 was for us in terms of the work that we were able to do.

Security mapping/election monitoring

Una Hakika Project

The year began on a good note with the team in Map Kibera conducting a baseline survey for a project that they would be implementing in Kibera in partnership with the Sentinel Project. The project was dubbed Una Hakika? (Are you sure?), and the aim of the project was to assess and moderate the spread of rumours before, during and after the August election.

Una Hakika? launch event in Kibera

Una Hakika launch event at Undugu Ground in Kibera

With the August election drawing near, Map Kibera with the help of 3 students from University of Nairobi and JKUAT who were on internship through the Youth Mappers  programme conducted a mapping exercise with the help of local community ambassadors drawn from the Una Hakika project.

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Lucy Fondo (on the left) and Phylister Mutinda collecting data in the field

This was to update the security map that was last updated during the 2013 elections. The printed copies of the maps were distributed to the local administrative officials as well as to NGOs that work in Kibera on peace initiatives.

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Joshua Ogure issuing a copy of the security map to Adminstration Police commandant

The other copies of the maps were distributed to community members. Read more here. The updated security map was also painted on the wall at a strategic point in Kibera where the community members and visitors would interact with it.

Updated Security map om the wall

Updated Security map on the wall

During the August 8th election Map Kibera through the Una Hakika project also set up teams on various polling stations to report on the events as they were occurring. This was done through video coverage by the Kibera News Network team. The team was also supposed to report any issues by sending sms to the Una Hakika’s short code 40050.

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Citizen reporters trained for the elections

Video Coverage of Elections by KNN

The KNN team produced more than 50 videos for both August 8 elections and the repeat October 26 elections. At least one video went “viral” with more than 13,000 views: Kibera Supports Supreme Court Ruling.

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A screenshot of the videos produced by KNN during the election period

Repeat election

On 1st of October 2017 the Supreme Court Of Kenya nullified the August 8th Presidential election. The electoral body of Kenya was thereby asked to organize a fresh presidential election. This meant that our work on election monitoring wasn’t yet finished. So we organized and re-strategized to prepare for the fresh election. The period before the new set date for election saw a lot of demonstrations from the opposition team demanding changes on the electoral body before conducting another election. Kibera News Network documented some of these events, and even did interviews with some of the victims of police brutality after violence erupted immediately after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the August 8th election. The IEBC set a new date for the repeat election to be 26th October. We monitored these elections afresh just as we did earlier.

Research

ResearchReportIn the same year Erica Hagen, one of the co-founders of Map Kibera, was funded by Making All Voices Count to conduct a research on the impact of the work of Map Kibera in the local community and how the maps are being used by various local organizations, community based organizations, government offices and the community members. Key outcomes were that local officials had used our education maps to reach out to informal schools, build networks and extend resources to these schools. NGOs had also used other maps by Map Kibera to locate resources such as water and sanitation facilities. The research report can be read here.

Sharing, Participating, Collaborating

The year 2017 also saw Map Kibera being recognized and invited to attend various international and national events to share about their work. Some of the meetings were: the High-Level Meeting on Data for Development in Africa held by the Kenya Government and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD)Buntwani 2017 organized by Open Institute, Making All Voices Count, Dlad and Data Zetu in Dar es salaam; the Data Pop course at UN Headquarters in Nairobi, and a radio interview at IQRA FM.

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Joshua doing demonstration about Map Kibera and the open schools project at the High level meeting.

 ICT4D

For the second consecutive year Map Kibera has been invited to speak at the ICT4D conference. This year’s conference was held in Hyderabad, India and the theme for the conference was from innovation to impact. Zack Wambua represented the organization at the conference where he shared the impact of the Open Schools Kenya project. Zack also had an opportunity to visit one of the local organization Hyderabad Urban Lab to learn more about the work that they are doing around community participatory mapping in Hyderabad.

Zack Wambua at the ICT4D conference.

Zack Wambua at the ICT4D conference.

 State of the Map (SOTM) AFRICA

This was the first ever SOTM event to be held in Africa, and Map Kibera being one of the oldest users of OpenStreetMap in Africa were invited to share about their work on community mapping, a model that has been borrowed by many groups and organizations that use OSM. Joshua Ogure the project manager of Map Kibera travelled to Kampala, Uganda to represent the organization at the event. Read more here  http://www.mapkibera.org/blog/2017/07/21/my-experience-at-the-first-state-of-the-map-africa/

Joshua doing a presentation at SOTM Africa

Joshua Presenting  Map Kibera at SOTM Africa Kampala

SOTM Tanzania

After the successful SOTM Africa event, OSM teams in Tanzania led by Crowd2Map and Ramani Huria organized SOTM Tanzania. the event took place in Dar Es Salaam. Map Kibera was again called to assist with the planing of the event and also to share about their work during the conference. Zack Wambua travelled to Dar to represent the organization at the conference.

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A group photo of all the attendees at SOTM Tanzania

Open Schools Kenya

In 2017 Map Kibera kept up with changes to the Open Schools Kenya data. We along with our interns checked if the schools were still in the same location and if they had moved, we collected coordinates of their new location and updated the details on the site. We were also able to update school populations (for both teachers and students), changes in school management as well as any other co-curriculum activities that are offered in the schools. This was followed by an update to the website, where we added a search by location filter which enables you to view the schools’ data in both Kibera and Mathare, the two locations that we have rolled out the OSK work. Look for more changes and additional locations in OSK in 2018!

A screenshot of the updated Open Schools Kenya website with the new search by location faeture

A screenshot of the updated Open Schools Kenya website with the new search by location feature

Open Schools Kenya updated with Mathare info, new Kibera schools

by: November 7th, 2017 comments: 0

Open Schools Kenya has been recently updated, and we are now starting to add schools in Mathare! Working with Youth Mappers chapter at the University of Nairobi, Map Kibera has so far covered the “Mathare Village” area.  We are working to expand coverage to the entire Mathare slum, where Map Kibera has previously mapped and worked with citizen journalists (see Voice of Mathare and Map Mathare). OSK is also updated with new information on Kibera schools, including a number of closures, relocations, and new schools. Simply keeping the data current on the Kibera schools is a challenge, but schools are often in touch about changes. And, keeping our eyes and ears on the latest happenings in the community is after all what we do best.

The total number of mapped schools is now 415, including 355 in Kibera and 59 in Mathare. We hope to have all of Mathare covered in the next few months, and continue to expand coverage in 2018 to other areas of Nairobi and Kenya.

Please also see this recent research about Map Kibera for Making All Voices Count, which particularly notes OSK’s local impacts as a major achievement for open community data!

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