Frequently Asked Data

by: April 24th, 2013 comments: 16

Map Kibera fields all sorts of data questions from the net and in the community. We’re happy to oblige, our core mission is to openly share and distribute information about the slums, by slum dwellers, for slum dwellers. We also want to share those questions and answers and progress, to show the community of folks who really care about, create, and use this data. This is eventually going to build into thematic sections on a new website, but for the time being, this blog post.

We received two queries from Poverty Action. In context of their other evaluation work in Kenya, they are scoping a study of early childhood education in African slums.

If you have more information on any of these questions, would be great to hear about it in the comments.

What kind of education data is available for Kibera, Mathare and Mukuru?

Mappers have collected basic information on schools in all three slums, available for download in Kibera, Mathare, and Mukuru.

In Kibera, much more detailed data has been collected, on the number of staff, students, status of the facility, programs. That was collected as part of the mapping themes process in 2010, which included meeting with community stakeholders, design of survey, and data collection. Mathare was collected in 2011, and Mukuru in 2012, but in less detail.

The CSV files have the most detail. There are also print maps prepared for Kibera and Mukuru.

Have there been recent census in the slums? Is data available at the household level? Are enumeration area boundaries available?

The last comprehensive census in Kenya was conducted in 2009, and results released in 2010. This made news as the population figures for Kibera differed greatly from the media hype. We wrote about the process and politics of the census back then.

As far as we’re aware, there’s been no public census since then. There have definitely been data gathering exercises, surveys, by all kinds of actors, but unfortunately much of this data remains silo’d and unopened.

Data from the 2009 census is available at OpenDataKE, but only released aggregated to ward or constituency level. Those boundaries were not released, and were changed by the IEBC prior to last month’s election. I’ve never seen Enumberation Area boundaries released, and am not certain they are digitized. There are a few reports out there on the process, which give some explanation of the methodologies, on the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics website and in a UN Data report.

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.

Luxembourg Students Make Maps with Kibera

by: July 1st, 2012 comments: 3

Raoul Klapp, a geography teacher at the Athénée de Luxembourg, a secondary school in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, got in touch earlier this year to discuss his lesson plans for his geography class.

I was amazed by the work that the team has carried out and by this pioneering idea in slum GIS cartography. Since I teach a so-called ‘netbook class’, a pilot-project in Luxembourg, in which each student uses a netbook as a digital enhancement to conventional classroom activity, Map Kibera, through its webpage and lively blogs, convinced me that it could be an amazing opportunity to provide my students with a hands-on, real-world geography/GIS experience and show them how people could raise national and international awareness.

As we were already covering the issue of sustainable (urban) development in class, my 10th grade students (aged 15-17) expressed great interest in getting involved in Map Kibera and doing research on amenities present in Kibera by using GIS software (QGIS) with the perspective on doing their part in helping the people and community of Kibera and the Map Kibera team.

Awesome! All the data Map Kibera collects is available in OpenStreetMap, and extracts downloadable. So, combined with stories published on Voice of Kibera, Kibera News Network, and other sources on the web, the students were able to use both open data and open source software in their class. Such a collaboration could easily be replicated with other schools … especially right here in Kenya!

Last week, Raoul shared the results.

Map Kibera Class Presenting Posters

Map Kibera Final Posters

My students enjoyed doing the work a lot! I am currently evaluating their feedback – seems strikingly positive so far.
They very much liked the fact that they could help out *real* people with an issue connected to the *real* world an not only doing arts for arts’ sake.

Map Kibera Classroom Work

MapKibera - Education - Nursery to Secondary

All of the student posters, and photographs, can be accessed on dropbox. They are mostly in French; going to look into printing out a couple for the walls of the Map Kibera office.

Next Semester

The class project received positive feedback from all, so is developing further in the next school year. Our suggestion is to focus on other parts of Nairobi, like Mukuru and Mathare, where Map Kibera has initiated new mapping efforts, and where there is much less attention generally than Kibera.

It’s exciting that young people from very different parts of the world, from the slums of Nairobi, and the classrooms of Luxembourg, can collaborate so easily with today’s technology. There is so much opportunity for this to expand, to other classrooms and other cities. Map Kibera welcomes more chances to connect. Hoping the students from Luxemborg join Map Kibera’s Facebook group and make friends with the team here.

Very much worth pointing out that there is no reason at all the collaboration needs to be so distant. It’s likely that these students now know more of the facts about life in Kibera than most Kenyans! Several conversations this week in Nairobi show growing interest in substantial technological engagements in the classroom. Perhaps the curriculum Raoul is developing could be shared and jointly developed with Kenyan classrooms, and lead to connections right here across the country.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the use category at Map Kibera.