Is Storm Gathering Over Kibra?

Ethnic Intolerance is gradually strengthening its roots in Kenya, at most so after the 2007 post election violence that rocked the country, a recent debate on a Facebook group over slum evictions shows.

Although, many will agree with me that the tension had always been there even before the 2007 general elections, and whatever happened at that time only brought out the anger and bitterness that most Kenyans have all along held against each other, or one community against another in this case. Kibra, or Kibera as some might choose to call it, was not spared the ethnic-related violence of 2007. In fact, it was one of the worst hit regions. Even though another ethnic-related conflict had much earlier threatened to tear kibra apart, way back in 2002.

violence                                           {picture:}

We saw so many peace initiatives come up after that with the aim, goal or mission of bringing Kibra residents together. There have been so many of these peace initiatives linked to Kibra, or Kibera that everytime the word ‘Peace’ is mentioned, people expect to see an image of kibera somewhere along the lines. Whether these peace initiatives achieved their goals, missions or whatever they hoped to achieve is a question for another day.


Parliamentary Election Debate Kibera

But sadly it looks like something was never addressed. These peace groups or initiatives might have overlooked or bypassed something important, a root cause of all these unrest, call it a grudge that has been held for so long but never settled, historical injustices or whatever you want. But another storm seems to be gathering, all the signs are there, loud and clear. It’s either these peace initiatives will have to go back and do their homework well or new mechanisms will have to be put in place before the gathering storm finally comes down, after which everyone will once again be asking when, or where the rain started beating us.

Like my friend would say, something needs to be done, and not tomorrow but now. Before what we are currently seeing on social media trickles down to the streets.

It only takes a statement, opinion, concern, argument or whatever anyone might call it, in form of a facebook, twitter or any other social media post to ignite the hatred that most of us hold in their hearts, the ethnic-related anger or bitterness that came as a result of whatever injustices happened in the past and never addressed.

Here is a good example of a concern I had and shared on Facebook in relation to the ongoing sewer-line evictions in Kibera and some of the comments that came afterwards..

This was my post:
“Honest opinion, was this NYS projects, or whatever you call them, mean’t to render more Kibera residents homeless? How can they give 3 day notice them exepect residents to find new homes.. then they bring down the houses leaving many women and children to sleep in the cold? they may not respect the structures they see but they are houses to us, it’s where we call home.. evict us after giving us somewhere to go… ‪#‎FeelingPissedOffWithNYS‬”

Mohammed Hassan Juma hamtaki kutoka kwa sewer line?ndo maana wazungu wanakuja kibra kuwacheka. (you don’t want to move from the sewer line? that’s why white people come to kibra to laugh at you)
January 13 at 5:27pm • Like • 3

Fatuma Abdulrahman Surur its a reality some think they r a superior being!anyway everybody dies in kibra but only we r burried in kibra kwa hivo bado tupotupo! (….. so we are still here here)
January 14 at 1:05pm • Like

Imma Jeeb @Fatuma, i like that, of course hawajatoka Mbinguni. Wana Makwao.don ‘t they know the meaning of Devolution?tiz high time we have a better KIBRA.!! (… of course they didn’t come from heaven. they have have thier homes…)
January 14 at 1:18pm • Like • 1

George Ambunya hatespeech ndio mob tu hapa sana (this place is only full of hatespeech)
January 14 at 1:56pm • Like • 3

Siyama Ismail #George_Ambunya,
This is a #Healthy_Debate na hakuna hates speech, it is called #Expressions.
January 14 at 3:07pm • Edited • Like • 1

Owino Kotieno #Hussein Umri wangu hauni ruhusu kutoa matamshi au fikra za Chuki ama Kulenga Jamii. Ikiwa kila mtu ataulizwa Kwao ………Looo. Changia kwa upole,fanya utafiti na ujiusishe na mapambano ya fikra kisha tusemezane. (My age doesn’t allow me to give out hatefull utterances or thoughts, or target a communitty. if everyone was to be asked where he comes from….looo. contribute peacefully, do your investigations and be part of the mind struggle then we can talk)
January 14 at 5:40pm • Like • 2

Daniel Orogo Hussen am shocked that while others are in sobber debate to find a solutions to this problem, you bring another twist thats sounds non objective. Kibera is home to all those who are curently residing there
January 14 at 5:40pm • Like • 2

Stam Kaindi Kibra/ Kibera call it what you like but it is in Kenya and for kenyans!!
January 14 at 6:42pm • Like • 4

Iahtallization Kiberallion Chupakabrah Kiberallization if our actions dont mirror words that come from our mouth simply means we are hypocrites
January 14 at 8:07pm • Like • 5

This, and numerous other examples both in and out of the social media circles, only goes to prove my point on the need to address the outstanding root cause of all the hatred, or bitterness, that most, if not all, of us hold in their hearts.

I do agree with you that this is a national problem, and coming up ways to solve it might be described as a national dilemma, but me and you, with the help of him or her, can work towards addressing the point that may have all along been overlooked by all other peace initiatives here in Kibra.

Stephene ‘Steve Banner’ Oduor,

Kibera News Network

Posted in Kibera, Land, Opinion, Peace, People | Leave a comment

Controversy in Kibera: Nubian title deeds and land sales

At 2pm, on 30th September 2013, the cabinet secretary for Land, Mrs. Charity Ngilu arrived at Kibra academy, in Kibera, to issue a communal title deed to the Nubians living in Kibra constituency.

Out of the 4197.9 acres of land that Nubians have for so long demanded to be allocated to them, The cabinet secretary said that only 288 acres in Makina area would be given to the Nubians, the area would then be named Nubian Village. She went ahead to say that the remaining areas, that is Kianda, Kisumu Ndogo, Gatwekera, and Laini Saba, had so long been sold. At this point people started to murmur, But Nguli did not accept to be asked any questions about the sold land, though she was quick to declare that she was the 51st Minister of Lands who was now ready to solve the land issue in Kibera.


Ngilu, Addressing crowd at Kibra Academy

The residents of Kibera did not take Ngilus visit positively, one, they claimed that Ngilu never informed the leaders from Kibera, two, “How could she meet with Nubians alone in the morning at 10am and by 2pm she is here to issue titles without involving other stake holders?” “We smell a mischief here” said one Kibera community leader.

Kibera slum is a home to many tribes of Kenya including Nubians, who were settled here more than 100 years ago by the British Colonials in the early 1890s. They originated from a place called Nuba between the Northern Sudan and the Southern Egypt, they have all along laid claims to Kibera as their ancestral land, the government did not formally recognize them until the 2009 national census. They have faced so many challenges including acquiring of Identity card and even birth certificates, all they ask for is to be given an equal playground just like any other Kenyan.

Ngilu’s reckless remarks, like other people called it, generated a lot of heat in Kibera, that she left without issuing the title deed, but promised to come back soon.

The meeting ended at around 4pm, words spread so fast and after a bout one hour you could see people gathered in groups trying to analyze how parts of Kibera could have been sold and what that meant to them. The fear of eviction was real in their faces. It was very hard for them to imagine that the only home they have known for decades was no longer theirs.

Several groups came up in protest to this issue: Kibera Inhabitants, Kibera Structure Owners Association, Kibera Stake holders Forum, churches, school owners including the Langata District Peace Commettee, all running to a different direction for help. And as the confusion engulfs Kibera, another group was already demonstrating towards the Ministry of Lands Office, demanding a proper explanation on the sold land. At this point Kibera Inhabitants had gone to the area member of Parliament for some clarifications. On realizing that there were many other groups lobbying against the Ngilu’s remarks, Kibera inhabitants led by Langata Constituency ODM chairperson Mr. Ochieng Jera decided to call all these groups together so that they could have a stronger force.

Two days after Ngilus visit tension increased in Kibera, with people wondering what will happen to them.

They approached CHF international to offer them a space to meet in, which was accepted, on 10th October 2013, I was in this meeting, people were so furious here, calling Ngilu all sorts of names.

Capture 2 c

Leaders from Kibera meet to discuss land issue at CHF offices

But there was a common understanding, almost everyone in the meeting agreed that they did not have any problem with Nubians being given title deed, that they deserved it, their main concern was the sold parts of Kibera. They wanted to know when a section of Kibera was sold, to who? Who sold it? How much it was sold and why? These were the questions people kept asking themselves.

Apart from the questions above they also wanted to know what will happen to the non-Nubians living in the demarcated Makina area, will they be compensated? Will they be living at Nubians mercy? Or what? There was also a concern that Nubians living outside Makina could be at risk of being chased to go and live with their colleagues in Makina. Some people including some Nubians already had title deeds in Makina, will their titles be revoked? Some Kibera residents had started refusing to pay the rent claiming that the land had been sold according to the cabinet secretary; therefore they don’t have to pay anything, something that was already bringing conflicts in the slum. In this meeting there was only one Nubian who was there as a cohesion champion but not to represent the Nubian community, there was therefore need to have Nubians in the following meeting. People dispersed by each group with a task to find concrete information from various offices: a team was to go to the Governor of Nairobi county, a team was to go to the National Land commission, a team was set to talk to the former land minister, and another team was to see the former Prime Minister to find out if they were all aware of the sale of Kibera land.

Capture 2 a

Second meeting

Bringing back the feedbacks during the next meeting on 16th October 2013, reports from the Nairobi Governor’s office claimed that the Governor Evans Kidero was not aware, but he offered to be given a short time to investigate on the matter. Surprisingly a team that went to see the Deputy County commissioner, said that the Deputy commissioner himself was not aware of what was happening in Kibera, he complained that a lot was already going on but no one has even tried to brief his office. He blamed the community members for taking the matter a head without consulting him, he also blame the government especially the Cabinet secretary of lands for not involving him in the process. “I have decided to stay aside and see if you people will need me in the near future” he said.

Orengo the former lands Minister said he was only aware that Nubians will be given a title but he did not know of any plans to sell Kibera land.

In this second meeting Nubians were invited but only two of them turned up, Mr. Ali from the Nubian youth, and also a representative at the Nubian Elders meeting. He clarified what had happened, he also told the meeting that the process to issue title deed to Nubians started long time ago, and that this was just the last stage. He went ahead to inform the meeting that in fact on Friday 18th October , 2013 the President was set to come and issue the title in Kibera.

Another surprise, it’s at this point that some people alleged that the government was out to make Kibera go up in flames again if people were not careful. The leaders urged each other to remain peaceful and not to allow anyone or anything to drag them into violence by all means, we have to solve this issues amicably, “We are not ready to fight with our brothers Nubian, but the government seems to be inciting other tribes against them” said one leader. Some people alleged that the government wanted to use Kibera because of its past history to trigger violence, so the President could have an excuse not to attend the ICC trials, for them to claim that Kenya is ungovernable. That they could only be playing politics.

Having said all these, the meeting was adjourned with an agreement that the chairman to call up for an urgent meeting soon to have all the facts right before a big protest could be organized, time was running out anyway, the President was set to come that week.

The third meeting was then on Thursday 24th October 2013, chaired by Mr. Daniel Orogo of Langata Youths Network. There was a good news, first was that Nubians were well represented, around seven Nubians were in the room. This opportunity was used to let the Nubians understand that the 288 acres allocated to them was too small since they were still growing, that they should see that they were being short changed. Another leader told them that for a fact Kibera is part of the Nairobi city, and no community can be given communal title in the city. It was not logical, that they should think twice.


Third Meeting at CHF offices

This did not go well with Kibera Nubian Community Land Trust secretary Mrs. Husna Hassan, she instead urged the rest of the tribes to support Nubians to get this small piece first, since they had struggled so hard for it, “it has taken us a lot of lobbying a lot of activism, a lot of time to be able to get even this small pieace” she said, “I know we could be short changed but something is better than nothing” she added, she then urged the rest to support the Nubians and they will support the other tribes to reclaim the perceived sold parts of Kibera.

During the week before this third meeting another team organized a small demonstration to the Ministry of Lands, asking the cabinet secretary Mrs. Ngilu to come out clear and explain how the land was sold. The Nairobi Governor Mr. Kidero had by this time dismissed the allocation as irregular.

So the president’s coming to Kibera was put on halt by the National Land Commission arguing that the Cabinet secretary did not consult them, and that the issue of land is so sensitive to be rushed with, many Kibera residents received this news happily, but addressing the media KTN in Kibera, the Kibra Nubian Community Land Trust Secretary Mrs. Husna Hassan said that they feel there is lack of genuinely, “we have followed all the processes, its wrong for the Lands Commission to come out now and say that they were not consulted” she said.

Now that aside Kibera is still faced by lots of challenges,

  1. The Rift Valley Railway is already demarcating areas to evict people living or doing businesses along the railway line, the eviction has been talked about for so long, but this time round its real.
  2. The NEMA, environmental people have also given a notice to evict those living by the river side that passes across Kibera.
  3. Slum upgrading process is also also on, some people are for it some people are against it.

Will the people of Kibera survive all these? Recently at Kamkunji grounds Sunday meeting, leaders warned residents from buying any property along the railway line because some individuals were taking advantage of those who don’t know about the upcoming eviction to sell off their structures at a cheap cost.

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Youth Discussions at the UN HABITAT 24th Governing Council

In the world today, the youth are regarded as the backbone of any nation, and any decision making that excludes the youth is regarded as shun and not all inclusive.

un pic 2
At the UN HABITAT 24th Governing Council, the youth centered at almost every topic of discussion. from how the government funds can be distributed, how jobs can be created and even offered to support youth initiated projects using the 6 billion that was initially intended for election run off, he identified the slum areas as some the places where the government will work to improve lives especially

During the official opening of the UN HABITAT CG24, The president of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to work with the youth to tackle unemployment and even offered to support youth initiated projects using the 6 billion that was initially intended for election runoff, he identified the slum areas as places where the government will work in making lives better especially for the youths coming from regions mostly regarded as marginalized.

Nairobi governor, dr. Evans Kidero, also in his speech, admited that nairobi faces alot of challenges in terms of security, proper sanitation among others. he too pledged to improve the living conditions in slums.

Being a participant at the 24th Governing Council, I attended a session on safer cities where a report was read by a group that has been working with different organizations both government and non-governmental, to help improve the security of Nairobi as a city and the youths were a point of discussion here, because they were identified as those who participate in hooliganism and unlawlessness. the safer city team highlighted some of it’s achievements which included ensuring that the city is well lit up. which they did by working with different groups to mount street lights especially in slum areas such as Kibera, Mathare and Korogocho slums. They have also been working to create jobs for unemployed youths in these slums by helping initiate youth driven projects and access to youth funds, and also cleaning up the city to get rid of bushy areas which are mostly regarded as hotspots.

On Tuesday 16thApril2013, which was the second of the UNHABITAT Governing Council, I attended a joint discussion on improving the lives of the youth through productive initiatives. and from this discussion, the participants urged the various government representitives from all over the world to always include the youth in major decision making. mr. Doug, particularly identified that the youths needed to come up with constructive strategies that can be able to attract donor funds.

A Nigerian speaker also called on the private sector to be included on the youth empowerment programs.

The main challenge of accessing the youth funds was identified as being so hard to get the loans that are channeled by the government from banks as loans.

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CDF Committee Elections

As the concluded general election campaigns were at their peak, I met a man running to become a member of parliament who was humble and engaging. When we called him for an interview in our offices, he showed up in person and answered questions in detail and with a lot of enthusiasm. I met the same man again during the ongoing CDF committee elections, but this time he was the Member of Parliament and no longer just a candidate. I decided to approach him for an interview to get his views about the ongoing process, hoping he would respond in the same manner he did the last time when he was campaigning. I was wrong, since after winning the elections, his humbleness seemed to have been replaced with arrogance.

Since we were inside a noisy and poorly lit hall, I requested if we could conduct an interview outside with him, just a few steps away from where he was seated, where there was enough light and no noise, but he turned my request down sighting it wasn’t his problem that I didn’t have lighting equipment. He then went ahead to ask what I wanted to ask him and we went through questions that I had jotted down where dismissed some questions as bullshit and others as irrelevant. My effort to conduct the interview on camera was turned down as well in vain.

I had no other choice but cover the election which had taken me there minus the interview. It started with a civic education from the areas county rep Otieno Cotieno, followed by introduction of the various contestants for men, women and youth representative. There were two men and women representatives and only one youth representative to be elected the irony being the majority of the people in the hall who had turned up to vote were youths. After the introductions of various candidates, the process was moved outdoors where the process was going to be conducted. The popular candidates were surrounded by their supporters who were singing and shouting to show support. Then the election followed using the infamous mlolongo system, whereby the person with the longest queue was declared the winner. The declared winners were jubilant but their opponents were not so pleasant with results disputing that the people announced the winners did not win as they were predetermined before the process took place. They decided to settle their differences in courts where they said they will go to challenge the results.

As I was finishing my coverage, one question left hanging on back of my mind; when the committee members are finally chosen, will they truly represent the needs of the people who put them there, or will they turn out to be arrogant individuals who cannot be approached by people who are not of the same caliber?

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Voluntary Male Circumcision.


Since Stone Age, different cultures across Africa, have embraced circumcisions. It is either performed for religious reasons or as an initiation rite.

Male circumcision is surgical removal of the foreskin – the retractable fold of tissue that covers the head of the penis. The inner aspect of the foreskin is highly susceptible to HIV infections. Trained health professionals can safely remove the foreskin of infants, adolescents and adults

It was not until 2007, when the World Health Organization emphasized more on the circumcision, not as a rite or for religious reasons, but as a strategy to preventing HIV infection, mostly in marginalized areas and in informal settlements where the prevalence is high and with minimal levels of male circumcision.


A banner of VMM in Kibera.

Voluntary Medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces the risk of female-to-male sexual transmission of HIV by approximately 60%.WHO and UNAIDS have recommended voluntary medical male circumcision as an additional important strategy for HIV prevention, particularly in settings with high HIV prevalence and low levels of male circumcision, where the public health benefits will be maximized. Fourteen countries in Eastern and Southern Africa with this profile have initiated programmes to expand male circumcision.

In Kibera, quite a good number of residents had not gone through the ” cut” as many could not decide as some  are still blocked by the  outdated traditions.

“Initially, men who turned out for the “ cut “, they were given incentives, so as to encourage them bring more friends for the same as there was a very low turnout,” says a Healthy Officer in one of the health centers  in Kibera.

The one time intervention medical male circumcision saves costs as many people spend a lot on antibiotics and antifungals that has an otherwise remedy ,“a simple cut”. It is also a way of averting new HIV infections and reducing the number of people needing HIV treatment and care.

“The process lasts up to between 20 to 30 minutes. Analgesics, such as Paracetamol, are used to manage the pain, the stitches should dissolve after four weeks, and complete healing is after two more weeks.” ascertains a medical specialist at a Kibera clinic.

The communities have embraced the idea. The awareness campaign done in Kibera by the Population Service International and the Ministry of Health saw an overwhelming turnout. Civic education and advertisements on the media have also played a big role in creating the awareness for this worthy course.

The service also extended to Kawangware, a neighboring Kibera slum, besides, the services are also being offered across Kenya for free in all Government hospitals.

The target is, by 2015, to have   80% of Men aged between 15-49 through the “cut”, and the expected projection is that by 2025, the reduction of new HIV infection will be by more than 20%, Said a report released by the Global Advocacy for HIV prevention.

Any worthy process does not lack challenges, so is to the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision. Some of the shortcomings are; Some Kenyan traditions do not permit circumcision, and also lack of enough trained medical personnel to stretch across the Country.

Male circumcision is a proven intervention that offers partial protection against sexually acquired HIV in men. WHO and UNAIDS recommend that it should always be considered as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package which includes:

HIV testing and counseling; Correct and consistent use of female or male condoms; Treatment for sexually transmitted infections and Promotion of safer sexual practices, such as avoidance of penetrative sex.





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Kibera News Network and Langata Youth Network hold joint Community Forum

It was 30th march 2013, the day map kibera trust’s video program, KNN. together with langata youth network came together to conduct a community screening that also incorporated a youth forum to discuss ways of avoiding violence at the height of tension as people awaited the supreme court ruling. it was held at orthordox church in kianda village, Kibera



The day started by KNN screening a short documentary on the whole process of election from registration to the post-election period,

after which an exclusive interview of langata youth network’s Dan Orogo by KNN was screened, in which Dan tackled the possible scenarios that bring about conflict in Kibera and several ways to deal with it. in the interview he also urges the residents to remain calm amid the heightened tension that marked awaiting of the verdict.

Langata youth network’s Richard otira later came in to build on the need to live peacefully no matter which verdict the court gave, He and KNN’s Joe Gathecha later led an interactive session in which members present discussed ways of dealing with tension, hatred and negative ethnicity in slums.

Map Kibera Trust’s director Kepha Ngito gave a short address on the need to live peacefully and how citizen media can help cub the tension. He also urged the participants to report on whatever is happening around them that need to be reported, and with these the voice of kibera sms reporting number was shared.


The forum ended with both map kibera and lan’gata youth network comiting to work together in future on such forums. that was shortly before the supreme court ruling.

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Prize Giving Day at the Green Pastures School

Green pastures school is private based institution which is sponsored by the Equity Bank and the British High Commission among other sponsors. The school has over 500 children in which more than 200 are fully sponsored by various organisations. The school which has Classes 1 – 8 and a Kindergarten was started way back in 1994 by Mrs. Marget Mutinda and has helped the Children from Kibera get quality education since then.

It was all colorful as the Green Pastures Primary School held its Prize Giving/Closing day celebrations. The event was held at its premise which is in Karanja Road in Kibera and its main aim was to award the best students of the past term examinations.

The celebration was attended by the Dr. Alistair King from London and the Equity Bank Kibera Branch Manager who helped give presents to the best performing students overall.  The place was all packed up as many came to witness the celebration as the children were been awarded for their performances.

Green pastures school children

Green pastures school children


The guests were entertained by the poems, plays, songs, narratives and dances by the little talented children. The children were later joined in by the guests as the dances went on.

Guests join children in a dance

Guests join children in a dance

Later on the Guests of Honour delivered their speeches to the people in attendance. “I am so glad to be in Kenya especially in this school.”, said Alistair. He gave a small narrative of how he was motivated by his goddaughter to come to Kenya to give out presents to the best performers in Green Pastures School. He also added that he was astonished by how the children in the school were performing and was willing to take back the enthusiasm back to England. He finally wished them happy holidays as the children are set to break for the April holidays.


Finally the children were awarded presents by the Guests and the teachers while the people in attendance cheered. The master of ceremony later thanked the visitors and a closing prayer was said as people dispersed at their own will.

By Lee, Clarise, Diana

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For a long time Kibera has been viewed as one of the faces in the limelight especially where matters concerning violence, crime and abuse of human rights are concerned. Whether true or not this has been attributed by:-poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and ignorance. These have been further instigated by ethnicity between various communities in the region and politics.

Demonstrators outside Supreme court on 4th March

Supporters during the past elections campaigns

There is an undeclared battle to nearly 90% of people who live below the poverty line. But where there is hope there is a way. Devolved governance brings power to the people. To those who know their rights because knowledge is power; conversely ignorance is poverty.
As it’s evident in our constitution we have the right to better housing, sanitation, access to clean water, food and free quality education. Our devolved governance must ensure these resources safely reach our local wards without any means of corruption or any other illegal activities.
With the new government in power the people of Kibera expect to see changes in the way things are run and managed when it comes to public resources. The Constituency Development Funds(CDF) should be put in place to build schools and health facilities which will help the people.

Health facility constructed by the use of CDF

Health facility constructed by the use of CDF

Above all it should also ensure that our children get free and quality education because they are the future of our nation Kenya.

By Moses Njule

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Security map grafitti draw attention in Kibera

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

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 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

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.

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.

Posted in Kibera, People, Security | Leave a comment

Courts Verdict: The events before and after courts decision to Uphold Presidential Election results

Map Kibera Trust aim to effectively participate in the monitoring and coverage of the elections events as they unfolded finally came true a few days to the 4th  as all plans were now in place.  Finally the long awaited day was here and as people awaited to cast their ballot. The expectations of the people on the ground was that, elections could either go for first round or a re-run, because no candidate seamed to ganner the 50%+1 threshold as per the constitution. The events in Kibera were closely monitored and reported on by a dedicated team from Map Kibera Trust.

The election, one of its kind under the new constitution, saw a large number of people turnout to exercise their democratic rights. People affiliated to different political parties were voting for their preferred candidates.


After the elections, the results were announced and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) declared Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee Alliance as the winner in the results. The Electoral body results were not welcomed by the CORD alliance citing that the results and conduct of the IEBC were not fair and transparent. A petition was filed by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy led by the leader, Raila Odinga to challenge the outcome of the elections.

Anxiety Consumed people as they awaited the Court verdict which took fourteen days. In Kibera, security measures were taken to ensure no incitement or violence erupted. Police were deployed in varoius parts of Kibera to maintain peace. As the verdict date neared, tension gripped people, and some communities were relocating in fear of their lives and loss of property should violence erupt. Not every part of Kibera was affected as in some place calm was experienced and businesses went on as normal.


On the 23rd March, the historic final day the court was to give its ruling, tight security was deployed in different parts of Kibera and some businesses were closed for fear of theft and loss of property. People especially the youths, were gathered in groups discussing the possible verdict outcome, this however was contrary to the stern warning against such groups as they would bring about unnecessary tension. Why would a security contigent be deployed to Kibera slums ahead of the ruling?

IMG_0010In the evening, people were glued to their television sets and radios awaiting the historic supreme court ruling. The 11 minutes ruling saw mixed reactions: sadness, celebrations and mild violence. A few youths who were causing chaos were overpowered by the police at Olympic and Gatwekera. For fear of spreading violence some areas like Olympic and Gatwekera residents were restricted of walking beyond 9.00 PM.

In Laini Saba, it was a different story as people were celebrating the outcome of the verdict.

Different religious leaders, political leaders and peace led groups across the nation called for calm and peace. Contrary to what most people thought and the travel bans against Kenya given by the international communities, they were proved wrong as Kenyans embraced peace because the election period went through well despite the small challenges.

It was a win for Kenya as many would say.

VOK Team

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