The Hands That Shook The Minds Of Kibera People

Kibra constituency, regarded as one of the strongest Kenyan opposition strongholds, has always done the best to keep up with Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s moves without any questions whatsoever.
Even when the opposition leader changes political parties or makes new political alliances, his followers from Kibra have always have a way to embrace and keep tab with all the moves, In most cases welcoming every move without any question, and standing with the belief that ‘Baba’ is always right.
However, almost for the first time, something caught them completely offguard in the history of Kibra politics, or former Langata constituency, as a whole. And it wasn’t the issue of Kibra land title deeds that have always brought confusion all over. neither was it the railway line and road reserve evictions, both of which have become big issues in Kibera.
Noo, It was something else, something that alot of the opinion sharpers in Kibra seemed to have almost no opinion over.

Yes, the now much whispered about Handshake between Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta. It is whispered about because many people are a bit afraid to talk about it openly, since you can never tell, for the first time in Kibra, whether the person you are going to speak to supports it or not. and so you don’t want to appear to be in the wrong side with what everyone else feels about the handshake, which until much recently, thanks to Miguna Saga, was hard to tell.

 (Pic is from a Random Online Source)

Right now, there seems to be a gradual shift of loyalty among Raila Odinga followers in Kibra, with a good number now seeing him as a sell out of some kind, considering all that took place following the post-election protests in which Kibra paid heavily.

We are now just waiting to see which political direction the former Raila Odinga loyalties will take considering that almost no one is saying anything openly, even in their weekly political gatherings, which now focuses more in in-house issues from Kibera rather than the larger political settings. and anyone who has an opinion on Raila Odinga and party issues is choosing to whisper about it instead.


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Waterborne Disease Scare In Kibera

A few days ago, after being heavily rained on. I developed fever and a condition that could have been caused by the weather changes, that is the on going heavy rains across the country, just like the average Kibera person would react, I went to a chemist shop, bought a few malaria tabs, took them and hoped that I would wake up the next day feeling okay. But unfortunately, on the next morning, I wasn’t just still sick, but my family too.
And as the rain persists, with cold and muddy environment. Waterborne diseases and infections are much more likely to be on the rise and still, much likely to ‘catch’ everyone unprepared, probably with the same reaction as me.

A Section of an area swept by Flood (Pic By Jacob Ouma) 

Those living in areas with heaps of garbage that also see a lot of floods and muddy conditions with smelly dirt are the most threatened in this case and also the least likely to seek the much required medical assistance either prior or during any water related infection.

This is one of those times that we need medical camps to help educate people on the their health now that we have a lot of stagnant water all round, unsafe water outlets that pass through the dirty sewage in which largely populated residential areas more threatened by the floods.

At the time of publishing this, I was feeling much okay since it was just a cold weather fever, and not cholera or typhoid as I had feared earlier, that came as a result of being rained on and exposed to too much cold.

And if nothing is done, We are yet to see an overflow of patients in our few hospitals and medical centers within the few days to come. which, to be more precise, are already here with us. after I saw how on demand, the anti-malaria drugs are, grabbing a bottle to myself too today.

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KCPE Kicks off in Kibera a Day after IEBC Declaration Protests

Kenya Certificate Of Primary Education examinations kicked off in the main Examination centre schools inh Kibera a day after the IEBC Declaration of Presidential Election protests in Kibera that left a section of Olympic structures up in flames.

Candidates at Olympic Primary School, which has been at the center of the election related violent protests recently witnessed in sections of Kibera, reported to school early just in time to kick off their first KCPE paper.

In several instances during the protests, teargas has been lobbied into the school and there has also been claims of looting and destruction of property.

Olympic primary school is one of the few Government schools within Kibra constituency that  accommodates  a large number of pupils from within and outside Kibra.

There had been doubts and fears of whether the exam will run smoothly at Olympic especially with the then rising tension that was seen a day to the election result declaration. But it was alleged that the protesting youths had vowed Not to disrupt the exam process in the school.

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Violence Erupts in Olympic, Kibera following IEBC Declaration

Sections of Kibera erupted with violence after the IEBC declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the controversial repeat Presidential elections that was boycotted by Opposition Coalition of Nasa which commands a large following from the area.

Youths from Olympic area in Kibera, who are die-hard followers of the main Opposition Leader Raila Odinga, started by lighting bonfires, and placing barricades on roads as a way to protest the move by IEBC,

The violence later turned into running battles with the police as the situation threatened to get out of hand. several shops went up in flames along Olympic road off Kibera Drive with the cause of the fire unclear.

Property worth of thousands of shillings was reduced to ashes in a matter of time with aa section of residents accusing the police of causing the fire and allegedly using excessive force to quell the protest.

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Repeat Election; How it was in Kibera

A day to the repeat presidential election, Kibera was on tension and most people did not know what to expect especially after the Opposition leader Raila Odinga who commands a large following in the area had called for election boycott.

Youths believed to be from Olympic, Gatwekera and Kianda, had, on the eve of the 26th presidential election repeat, taken it upon themselves to make sure no election materials were to be brought to Ayany, Olympic and KAG poling stations by barricading the roads that led to the polling stations.

with the fear of the expected confrontations, business were closed early and everyone made sure they got to the safety of their homes but the electoral body didn’t bring the materials on that day as was expected.

On the Morning of 26th, The Election day, a group of youths believed to be Opposition supporters, placed barricades at Olympic Primary School, Ayany Primary school and KAG, in an effort to stop any voting happening in Kibera by any means possible. but later the police came and running battles ensued leaving a number of residents with injuries from the almost whole day long confrontations with the police.

Voting however took place in some areas within Kibera, such as Kibera Primary school, Parts of Makina and Laini saba where it is believed that there’s a few Jubilee party supporters.

As they day unfolded, the protests turned into destruction of property and looting where by it is believed that protesting youths may have participated in vandalising Olympic Primary School, Raila Educational centre and the Equity Bank Kibera branch in Ayany.

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KNN Recruits New Members

Map Kibera’s video team Kibera News Network has recruited new members to ease their work in the community.
The new members are currently undergoing training on different citizen media techniques such as Camera work, field reporting news/video editing and blogging.

The team largely made up of young people from Kibera slums have so far shown the passion to learn more about reporting for their community, and participate in telling their own stories as opposed to mainstream and foreign media telling it for them.
So far a good number of them, together with the seasoned Kibera News Network Team, have participated in coverage of the 2017 general election monitoring in Kibera.
They have so far captured, to the least, all the basic requirements for a good citizen media reporter and the stories they have participated in have been impressive.
KNN looks to empower more young people from the community to be able to tell their stories from their own perspective.

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NASA’s First Visit to Kibera Since The Court Ruling

It was the first time since the supreme court ruling that Nasa coalition were having a their political campaign in Kibera’s famous Kamkunji ground.

The Nasa Presidential aspirant Raila Odinga was present accompanied by other Nasa leaders and Mps among them Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and Kibra Mp Ken Okoth.

They used the time to critisize the President on what they termed as lack of respect for the constitution since the president was presiding over the official opening of 12th parliament, the leaders wondered why the 11th president was opening the 12th parliament ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for 17th of October.
The Nasa members of parliament had skipped the opening ceremony as a sign of protest and so used the opportunity to attend the campaign rally and together drum up support for their presidential candidate.
They also used the same opportunity to call on the Independent Election and Boundaries Commision CEO Ezra Chilloba to resign after accusing him of engaging in election mal-practises during the 8th August general election as they also threatened not to participate in 17th presidential election if the IEBC CEO refuse to resign.
Chants of ‘Chiloba must go’ could be heard all around as Kibera residents cheered on the Nasa leaders.

The leaders seemed to be calling on their Kibera supporters to join in on calling for the resignation of IEBC officials believed to have been tainted by the 8th August 2017.

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In a controversial campaign, Water Is Life, a US based non-profit entity, has stolen public art from Kibera by world-famous artist JR . They intend to raise money to be used to provide 5000 gallon per day water filter and a community hand washing station.

After reading the article about it and watching the video shared online. I went out to find if the residents knew anything about this and if they did, what they thought about it.

It wasn’t strange that many people didn’t know about it since the art was stolen anyway.

The first thing noticeable to a curious visitor are the missing pieces in some roofs within the area that the art covered, in Kisumu Ndogo village of Kibera. When I asked about the missing pieces, the residents blamed that on the wind, others said the missing pieces were removed due to the rotting iron roofs, to pave way for replacements, no one knew anything about Water is Life and any of the art being stolen.

One resident, who also happened to be a structure owner, actually thought that it would be good if the person who brought the art pieces can replace them with new ones because those ones had taken too long on the roofs and were probably contributing to rotting of iron roofs especially during the rainy season.

Showing The Video

When I showed them the article and the Youtube video of how the art have been stolen and is being auctioned off to raise money, they were mostly confused on what to say.

Water is Life is probably doing the right thing but not in the right way,” observed the structure owner I spoke to, “They should have been transparent about it, and should have shared what they are doing with us.” Why would they steal if they mean well, that’s what they asked. 

On Facebook Kibera’s MP had stronger words:

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.47.47 PM

Kibera MP Ken Okoth shares his frustrations on Facebook about the controversy

One woman who woke up one morning to find the piece of art on her rooftop gone, said that the piece had been helping to prevent rain water from coming inside her house. But she was actually grateful when, a few days later, a group of young men came with new iron sheets for her roof. She says that they never explained to her anything, just repaired her roof and went away with the rotten old iron sheets.

After my revelation to them, they are now expecting the said water projects from Water Is Life.

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Fire Sensor Pre-Mapping Training

Fire Sensor Pre-Mapping Training was conducted at the Boma Hotel Nairobi offices by Map Kibera Trust.
Day One kicked off with Introductions to the project and expectations from the participants, what they were looking forward to gain at the end of the training.
Their expectations included, Learning new things, Knowing more about the GPS gadgets, being empowered, meeting new people, learning, sharpening and sharing new skills.
The Attendance on day one was up to twenty mapping Volunteers.


Day two of the training, The Trainees were introduced to Open Street Map and JOSM. Of which they were taken through the editing features, data collection and the requirements of all these.
The attendance dropped on day two with seventeen trainees present.

Day Three of the training, the trainees reflected on their expectations, Most of them felt their expectations had been met.
They then did practical mapping of the Red Cross compound and the environs, on which they dived into 3 groups and mapped different areas in and around the red cross, in a way of putting into practice what they had learnt on day two.
Douglas From Map Kibera led them through reviewing what they had done in all the three days.

Evelyn, who is the management representative of the whole project did the closing remarks.

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Sarangombe Ward Security Meeting

The first public security meeting was held at Kamkunji grounds, Kibera. The meeting was organized by the office of the Sarangombe ward representative and the office of the Deputy County commissioner. However, the Deputy County Commissioner did not attend as he was attending to other duties elsewhere. Hence, in attendance were the Member of County Assembly for Sarangombe, Sarangombe area chief, the ward Police inspector and the local leaders.

Kotieno 1
The area member of County Assembly, Mr. Owino Kotieno, narrated how Sarangombe and Kibera in general has been afflicted with insecurity issues which he compared to a recurring skin infection that refuses to go away.
He also said, Contrary to what most people think, that insecurity is not always brought about by lack of employment, and even cited a few examples of people who are Jobless but are good members of the community.
He also stated that respect for human rights is like an hacksaw that cuts from both sides, so the respect for human rights apply in both situation as far as dealing with human rights is concerned.

The Inspector, in his part,told the residents that security starts with them, he also addressed the issue of girls dropping out of school.
He condemned the criminal activities in the area and warned youths engaging in crime that their time is up and the police is soon catching up with them. He also warned the public against taking law into their own hands and walking around with machetes.
The Sarangombe area Chief apologized on behalf of the Deputy County Commissioner who did not attend due to being caught up on duty elsewhere.

The chief said that the area administration, together with the MCA’s office is looking to have the meetings happen often to always address emerging issues as far as insecurity is concerned.
He went ahead to condemn playing loud music late into the night by saying that criminals use such places to plan their bad missions, and also school-going children don’t get time to study due the same loud music.

Stephene Oduor.

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