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a good number of residents had not gone through the ” cut” as many could not decide as some  are still blocked by the  outdated traditions.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

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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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6 deaths reported in slums after Supreme Court’s ruling

Six died in the scuffle between the rival groups and anti-riot police a few hours after the Supreme Court confirmed Uhuru Kenya as president elect.

Demonstrators outside Supreme court on 4th March

Demonstrators outside Supreme court on 4th March

After the ruling, Uhuru supporters were seen jubilating in parts of Nairobi streets. Other parts of Nairobi streets experienced scuffles between outraged Raila supporters and anti-riot police officers.

The scuffles spread quickly to slum areas in Nairobi and Kisumu, resulting to loss of lives. In Nairobi, a youth in Mathare slum sent me a twit message requesting me to contact the police to increase the number of security officers because tension was increasing in the area.  Images of running battles between irate youths and anti-riot police were witnessed in Olympic area in Kibera too.

In Kawangware slum, Raila Odinga supporters attacked their rivals with machetes. The incident left 30 people seriously injured. Later at night, Uhuru supporters retaliated and left more 30 people seriously injured. In Dandora and Githurai slums, six people died in the skirmishes as a result of political rivalry. Two others were shot dead by anti-riot police in Kisumu.

Although Raila Odinga and Uhuru have called on their supporters to come together and start working, the tribal stream has simply widened. Uhuru’s supporters view Kalonzo Musyoka supporters as traitors. The attitude has extended to local trade. Uhuru supporters cannot buy or sell stuff to Kalonzo supporters. This is already happening in Mulolongo, Kibera, Kawangware and other parts of Nairobi suburbs.

Addressing the media through a televised speech, Uhuru said his administration will work with all Kenyans. “I want to assure all Kenyans, including those who did not vote for the Jubilee Coalition, and indeed even those who challenged the validity of my election, my Government will work with, and serve all Kenyans without any discrimination whatsoever,” President-elect Kenyatta said.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga conceded defeat a few minutes after the court’s ruling on 30th March 2013, but insisted the March 4 presidential elections were stained with irregularities. Odinga said although he would abide by the Supreme Court’s verdict, CORD had evidence of malpractices in the elections.  He added, the technological failure witnessed during the polls required a full audit.

The riots at Olympic after the supreme court declaration

The riots at Olympic after the supreme court declaration

The Prime Minister maintained that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission staff engaged in electoral fraud. He alleged it was irregular for the IEBC to share its server with his political competitor.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said the court’s decision was unanimous on all the issues they were asked to rule on.  “The presidential election held on March 4th 2013, was conducted in a free, fair, transparent and credible manner, in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and all relevant provisions of the law.”  Mutunga Said. He also dismissed the two petitions against Uhuru and Ruto and declared the duo validly elected as president and deputy president elect respectively.

Raila Odinga’s prayer seeking recomputation of votes cast between him and Uhuru Kenyatta was also declined on grounds, the court did not have jurisdiction do so.

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Miraa Chewing among the Youth.

The culture or act of chewing miraa has not only been in Kibera but the entire country for quite sometime, this can be witnessed by the youth around the City. When you take a walk around the slums of Nairobi during the weekend you will not fail to notice the youth as young as 15 years old chewing miraa. Age is not a limit because you will not be shocked to see even the old in their 50s chewing miraa which is also known as ‘Khat’. 

Miraa(Khat) according to wikipedia is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Penisula which contains monoamine alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant which can cause excitement, loss of appetite and euphoria.


Miraa which is illegal in many countries in the world including Germany, France and Tanzania, but it is accepted in some countries like Yemen, UK and the other East African countries. Research by The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) claim there is no sufficient evidence that the use of Khat causes health problems.

In Kibera it is an act which begins to be practised at an early age. Youths around begin chewing Miraa due to peer pressure because their collegues are also doing so. 

Miraa leads to increased energy levels, alertness and confidence”, says Shadick Juma a matatu driver along Kibera number 8 route. Many of the Matatu and long distance drivers use this drug due to its alertness and lack of sleep while working.

Effects of Miraa Chewing.


  • Causes excitement
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Causes Euphoria
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Spend of money
  • Just like any other drug it is addictive to the user


However excessive use of this drug has side effects such as insomnia. Other causes are it can lead to impotence and oral cancer which can occur but at a very minimal chance.

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Social enterprises are organizations that use the marketplace and business to create social, economic, environmental and cultural value.

Kenyans, especially those from slum areas and those with meager earnings, are increasingly taking up this new form of business in order to supplement their small earnings.

For those starting any of these emerging ventures it is perhaps less like starting a not for profit  organization and more like starting a small business . It is, however, steadily gaining momentum not only in academia but also for investors and foundations. Many of these entities are less willing to give handouts, and more inclined to invest in job creation for sustainable growth.

The job market in Kenya is highly competitive. Kenya‘s population is nearly 42 million people, with youth forming a large part of this number. Even as the economy improves with a steady growth, if you are young and unemployed, your future remains bleak. With the unemployment rate resting at 40%, the youth still feel disillusioned and their prospects of work slim. Thousands of graduates every year flood the job market, competing with others in the same profession for jobs at the same place, making the chances become thinner.

Peter, a graduate, lays the blame on the government: ‘Education system has to change in line with the job market demand,dwelling on outdated curriculum systems is a waste of time and resources,there needs to be a total overhaul on the system’, he ascertains.

The big question remains: For how long are we going to sit and wait as we play blame games on who is to do what for what to happen?

Kenyans appreciate the different groups of creative innovators in Kibera, who have gone beyond the odds to make ends meet and at the same time empower others to follow lead.

Slum tourism is one of those ventures picking up steadily, the benefits are not only meant for the guide or company but also to the entire community. For instance, through this, besides creating jobs for the guides, we have seen a growth in education and health sectors among others. With a large population of about 7000 people in a 2.5 square kilometer area, the majority being of school age, cannot all be accommodated in the three public schools available in Kibera. Through such programs as tourism, we have seen well-wishers start up schools for orphanages in partnership with the community. Besides, we have religious, missionary and many emerging NGO schools with the aim of alleviating the education standards.

The same applies to health. Most health centers in Kibera are non-governmental based, which give services to the community at a close to nothing cost.

Amsha is a fashion and accessories brand made by talented artisans from Kibera, Pieces are made from recycled and upcycled materials. The highly talented and skilled artisans make jewelry from recycled bone materials, paper, brass and clay, among others. Most of the artisans come from humble backgrounds, did not attend school or dropped halfway, while others are graduates who couldn’t secure jobs and resorted to such work.

As it is said, creativity is the mother of invention, quite a number of variety of beautiful products are produced, which not only earns the artisans a living but also plays a major role in environmental conservation by reducing waste.


Carolyn, the leader of six HIV positive women, working with Amsha, makes African jewelry from recycled and found materials. She says that since she could not acquire a job based on her status and the unavailability of jobs, she opted to form a group with other women with the same status and have something to do for a living.

Ojiko is a focused and happy looking guy from Kibera. In his mid-


thirties, he has been doing brass work for more than seven years, Although he didn’t have the privilege to attend school, his artistic designs of brass work have earned him a solid reputation. Through this work, he has been able to secure new equipment to grow his working capacity, as well as employ more community members to work with him.


With the emergence of social enterprise and more Kenyans empowering others with skills, this trend can be a path from poverty, unemployment blame games, aid to self-sustaining alternatives through available basic means.












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Supreme court orders re-tallying of 22 stations

Court cession. Ruling expected by Saturday

Court cession. Ruling expected by Saturday

The  Supreme court has ordered re-tallying of presidential votes in 22 polling station.

The court also demanded to be furnished with all form 34 and 36 from the 33 400 and 291 polling stations  respectively. Re-tallying results should be submitted to the court by Wednesday 4 pm. The petitioner and the respondents to nominate 10 representatives each to to act as agents during the exercise.  Supreme court justice Dr. Smokin Wanjala ruled that the agents will take the  secrecy oath. He also said the court registrar will determin the venue of the exercise which should be communicated to the parties tonight.

The court also rejected the application submitted by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) on partisan grounds. Litigants from the two opposing sides all claimed LSK appeared to be partisan, and so its inclusion as a friend of the court might damage the outcome. But the same application presented by Attorney General Githu Muigai was granted.

Supreme court judges during the pre-trial conference today

Supreme court judges during the pre-trial conference today

The court through justice Njoki Ndungu outlined the timeline allotted both the petitioners and the respondents, and warned each party to go with the proscribed timelines.  Lady justice Ndungu warned parties that the court did not have the luxury of time and so each parties will not be allowed to extend their time completely.

CORD’s lawyer George Oraro presented additional 900 hundred page affidavit, which spurred sharp criticisms from the respondents saying the affidavits were late and so they should be ignored. But Oraro defended his decision arguing he did not present any new evidence, but rather additional  substantive pleadings.

Pre-trial conference continues tomorrow.

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