8-year old Egypt-Bound Kibera poet, Hope Wambui, talks to KNN

Hope Wambui Ochieng, an 8-year old poet girl from Kibera who performed for the Kenyan President during the opening of the Nairobi International Trade Fair, is among the five selected young kids from Kenya who will accompany the Kenyan Football team to Egypt Africa Cup Of Nations. Kibera News Network got hold of her for an interview.

Hope Wambui recites her poem on ‘CORRUPTION’ to The Kenyan President

1. When and how did you start poetry?
I started poetry at 5 years old. I would go to mum and tell her, ‘I want to do poem but I’m a small child still’. So she assisted me on how to start writing the poems.

2. How did it feel to perform to the President?
I felt good going to where The President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta was. I did the poem and when he called me to greet him I felt so good.

3. Did someone help you? Who?
Yes, It’s mum who helped me. It was good to have mum writing for me the poems I did.

4. You have been selected to accompany the Kenyan National Football team, Harambee Stars to Egypt AFCON. What does that mean to you?
I was very happy and I would like to say thank you to everyone who voted for me to be able to go to Egypt. I won and I will go during the quarter finals of AFCON.

5. How do your peers at school see you lately?
At school my fellow pupils tell me, ‘Congratulations, eh you did good’

6. Do you have any advice or messages for your peers?
If they are talented then they should not let their talents go to waste. They too should tell their mums to help them with their talents.

7. Do you see this poetry as a talent you would want to pursue in future?
Yes, I want to do it until I become an adult, I want to travel to Nigeria with it, to Tanzania and even America if I get the chance.

8. Who or what inspires you the most?
Our different leaders we have. I would want to meet them too, especially the Chinese President and even the American President.

9. What else would you want to say?
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and even voted for me in different contests I have taken part in.

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Kibera Celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day

Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day), May 28, is an annual global event to raise awareness about the challenges women and girls face due to menstruation and to highlight solutions that address these challenges.

The same challenges that affect most girls coming from Informal settlements such as Kibera.

Photo By Atieno Muyuyi

MH Day also provides a platform to advocate for making menstrual hygiene management (MHM) a part of local, national, and global policies, as well as programs, projects, and activities across global development sectors.

On Tuesday 28th May 2019, a group of Kibera youths and well-wishers came together to celebrate world menstrual hygiene Day. The event which saw the youths match from Kamukunji ground towards the venue at Center for community development and Human Rights Karanja estate near old kibera primary school was meant to celebrate women and girls in a unique way.

Photo By Atieno Muyuyi

The event attracted various partners who work with girls among them CFK, CFCD in collaborations with various girl’s schools and Human Rights groups from Kibera

There was inspiring entertainment on menstrual hygiene management which will include skits, poem, dance, spoken words among others.

They collected sanitary pads from volunteers and well-wishers to distribute to various institutions where girls can access them for free.

Photo By Atieno Muyuyi

The Message that everyone went home with was, ‘It’s time for action’.

Menstrual Challenges that Kibera Girls face
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Floods Cause Death in Gatwekera area of Kibera

At least three people were believed to have died after a flood swept away a section of Gatwekera village in Kibera due to the on-going heavy rains. 

Here is the map of Kibera’s areas affected by the floods of April, produced by Map Kibera.

Eyewitnesses said the deceased who were believed to be a woman and her 12-year-old daughter among others were swept away. The mother and her daughter are said to have been visiting a friend when they met the tragedy along the stream banks dividing Gatwekera and Raila villages in Kibera. The mother’s body and one unknown girl have so far been recovered in the Nairobi dam and taken to City Mortuary. The 12-year-old girl is still missing.

Samuel Okoth, another resident, came home only to find his house submerged and all his belongings floating on water. He could not save anything and has been left with only the clothes he was wearing at the time.


“Most of our stuff was washed away and up to now, we haven’t recovered anything. We are just trying to get rid of the mud that had invaded our houses”, stated Felistas Akoth.

Another resident, Bishop Thomas Ogunde, added:  “When it started raining, the water from the pipes also bust out and started filling the stream. The bridge blocked the water which in the end overflowed washing away the houses including a part of my house.”

The Redcross was spotted at the scene of the tragedy in an effort to help those who were affected in one way or another.

The Area Chief also visited the scene and according to the eyewitnesses, he addressed those who had been affected by the floods.

The stream banks and the sewer lines in Kibera are prone to floods and mudslides, and it’s not the first time residents are losing their lives to floods.

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I was assigned to team one alongside two ladies, Clare & Gladwell on on our first field day. we also had Kibera News Network’s Eddie Juma as our camera person joining us for day one field day.
Day one was quite smooth, most of the schools we went to already had an idea of what we were doing thanks to the text messages they had received from the area APBET chairman, one Mr. Evans, about the Open schools mapping in Kangemi prior to the exercise kick off.

Day two of the schools mapping it was just the three of us (Clare, Gladwell and myself), our camera person from day one, that is Eddie Juma, had been assigned to a different group. just like day one, we didn’t have a hard time since the schools we went to already had an idea of the work we were doing from the texts and briefings they had earlier.
However, it couldn’t go without having one or two cases of school heads uncomfortable with giving information to strangers. there was this headteacher from a school known as ‘Genius school’ who thought we were working with a team known as WORK who she accused of having given her fake promises of how they will improve her school, which were not fulfilled, and so she was very much uncomfortable with the mapping and especially being asked questions she saw as too personal. she however let us ask the questions anyway and still answered them. she was also against taking pictures but still let us take them anyway.
the other interesting school we visited was one we found closed, apparently because of a funeral that was underway and from our observation we could see that one classroom had been brought down to give space for burial.
we also visited a school, Meta Meta, that doubled up as children’s home and the owner had newly born kids, probably less that a month old, who surprisingly were orphans. she told us how she has raised all the children in her center by herself as she is the only parent they have known. she schools them up to grade 6 then take them to government schools where she is also the one who takes care of everything until they are old enough. she has 3 sleeping rooms for girls and a similar number for boys all inside the premises.
later that day I developed a fever and headache and Clare from my team also happened to be a community health nurse so she took me to a nearby health center and tested me for malaria then made me see a doctor.

Day four which was also another field day we had Zack, Map Kibera lead mapper, join us in the field. we went back to the school that had a funeral and this time round it was open. only that the teacher wasn’t around. “he’s been gone for over two hours but will be back shortly’, said one pupil who also wanted to know what time it was and celebrated when we told him that it’s almost midday.
in one school the gatekeeper didn’t even allow us to go past the gate but called the ‘headteacher’ outside to speak to us. who, after listening to us introduce ourselves and read the letters from the MP and the District Education Officer, still said she’s not the one in charge and went to call another ‘more senior’ teacher who also listened to us do the introductions all over again but also said he’s not the one in charge and will get back to us when the person in charge is around. so Zack had to leave behind his contacts.

Day five we had Joshua, Map Kibera Project coordinator, join us in the field and I should say it was one smooth day. every school we visited was cooperative either from the way we introduced ourselves or from the fact that they had already been briefed about the project and already expected us.


Kibera People Living along the Sewer line face A Pending Demolition

Kibera residents living along the sewer line are facing another pending demolition soon by NEMA, a government body dealing with environmental issues.

They had actually been evicted before when the construction of the sewer line was being done a few years back but after the completion. They went back and constructed houses on top of the sewer line.
“they demolished our houses and afterwards told us to re-build them again. We have not even recovered the money we spent and here they are back again telling us that they’ll demolish the houses”, says one John Kasongi who has lived here all his life and even owns a structure.

They are now left to ponder in which direction they should take as far as moving away from the sewer line is concerned. And with many other evictions that have been witnessed in Kibera. Finding a house to live in has now become a headache that many eviction affected residents have had to deal with.
Mother Magrette, who is a spiritual leader, and runs a local church that offers religious support to some people in the area says she’ll be affected the most. Since she also has children in schools who are supported by the church as she doesn’t have anywhere else to turn to incase the demolitions were to happen right away.
“our Government is suppose to listen to our voices since were are the people it is taking care of”, she adds.
It is only a matter and the structures will all be brought down but the residents have some hope of a compensation before demolition.
“They should build us some houses somewhere and relocate us before our houses are demolished”, says one of the yet to be affected resident.

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Kibera Wake Up To Demolition by Roads Authority

Kibera Residents woke up to an unexpected demolition this morning, just days after  they had been promised that enumeration will be done and persons affected identified for a possible relocation or compensation before any demolition could be done.
The government had retreated from an earlier stand that they would not compensate people living on government land after a meeting organised by the Human Rights body and attended by KURA (Kenya Urban Roads Authority), which had scrapped the scheduled 10th July demolition and resolved that enumeration program will be carried out first.

“This is a betrayal from the government,” says Ben Ooko from Amani Kibera, whose Organisation offices was part of the demolished structures.

‘They came here on Tuesday and took our names. and told us this Monday we’ll go to the office and get some money to help us move. we were getting ready to go to the office to pick what we signed for but before that could happen, we woke up to this” says one Priscilla Ochieng, who also narrated to us that her house was not earlier marked but she was surprised when a group of people believed to have been guiding the bulldozer asked her for money before they could spare her house.

What now remains for the affected residents is just to count the losses, and work on rebuilding themselves again since the hopes of ever being compensated already went with today’s demolition.


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Kibera Road Evictions.. From another Eye

As much as everyone embraces, or acts like they are embracing, development. Kibera residents seems to be caught right in the middle. confused on which direction to take, especially when the said development threatens to render you homeless within a short time.
Kibera, taken from the word Kibra which is Nubian for ‘forest’ or jungle’, is home to about 1million people, or more depending on who you ask. Many from the Nubian community have Kibera as their Ancestral home since it is believed to have been given to them after the first world war.

The coming evictions is most likely to leave them with utterly nowhere else to go to and thus the reason for the prolonged court battles between the government and the Nubian Community leaders in Kibra.
There have been claims from the Kenya Urban Roads Authority that the said court cases ended last year and the residents were found to be living on road reserves and therefore need to evacuate without any compensation, further arguing that the whole of Kibera is government land, except for a few acres, roughly 288 acres of land, believed to have been given to the Nubian community in 2016.

“I have lived here for 30 years now. I have six children and close to twelve grandchildren who live with me here in this very house”, says Halima Burhan, one of the affected Kibera residents when Kibera News Network spoke to her. “When my house will be demolished. I won’t have anywhere else to go, this is my ancestral home”

“Compensation is what we have been fighting for all along. We are not opposed to the road construction,” Said Shaffie Ali, who is the Nubian Human Rights Forum chairperson.

It’s quite unfortunate that we see alot of things (both negative and not so negative) from these development, or so-called development, projects that we forget to look at the good, or bad, of everything that’s going to happen to a few, if not all, of the ‘poor’ Kibera residents. From the government refusal to compensate the eviction victims, as we have seen from the railway evictions and the NYS roads cutting through the slum to the ‘ unresolved Moi-Girls-Rape-case’ eviction that left a good number of small business owners, mainly from Kibra, with no-where else to get their daily income.

Many from the Social media see this as the end game for Kibera slum which, according to them, might be seen as a bad image to the nearby Upper hill which is an East African, or even African, Hub on the rise, since it will soon be home to one of the africa’s tallest buildings among other upcoming infrastructures.

We have our third eye open to see what becomes of the remaining Kibera slum after both the roads and the pending railway evictions will have swept away a good part of it.

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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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