Saving To Own A House In Kibera

Owning a house, be it in rural area or in town, is every man and woman’s dream.
“Who wouldn’t want to own a good house where you don’t have to pay any rent? and who wouldn’t capitalize on an opportunity to do so, especially when some help comes along the way?” asks Jennica, a resident of Soweto east village in Kibera.
Livelihood Impact Fund, has partnered with Map Kibera Trust, to conduct a survey in Kibera that aims to identify those who are saving towards owning a house in future.
Livelihood Impact Fund (LIF), will then find a way to offer financial options for these residents to realize their dream in the most efficient way.

The survey has so far been conducted in Soweto East village, and will scale up to cover all the villages of Kibera. Response has been good and most residents are actually saving and hopeful of owning a house in a few years to come.
Titus Mwewe, a shoe maker in Soweto East says he started saving towards owning a house but was forced to withdraw all his savings after being laid off his job.

“I had saved up to 25,000 shillings but was forced to withdraw to take my children to school and feed my family”. Titus adds.
He further blamed the government for not offering job opportunities to citizens, to help them be in a position to save.
“People have no jobs, and that’s why even my shoe-making business cannot thrive. If we all had good-enough jobs, we could have done our part to own the houses.”

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Measuring Lights Impact Survey In Kibera

Despite previous efforts to install lights in Kibera, some through Adopt-A-Light program initially headed by Nairobi women representative Esther Passaris, and others through the Nairobi County government, there have still been reports of rise in criminal activities within Nairobi’s informal settlements such as Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru among others.
Previous programs had overlooked the need to actively engage the community in the process of installing lights in our informal settlements, in the quest to achieve the goal of having proper security measures that can protect residents within the slums.

Other challenges that have faced those other programs include, frequent black outs witnessed in slums as a result of tampering with electricity lines, transformers and power cables.
It was for this reason that Map Kibera, Kibera Town Centre and LIF came together to conduct a ‘Measuring Lights Impact’ survey within Kibera slums, in order to get the much needed input and community engagement ahead of solar-powered street lights installments, not just in the streets of Kibera, but also deep inside the residentials.
The survey has been conducted in Gatwekera village, Kianda Village, Soweto Village and parts of Makina Village.

Feedback has been good so far, with a number of residents welcoming the idea of having solar security lights as opposed to the electric lights.
Nicholas Ogutu, a kibera residents who lives in soweto west village, and works as a construction expert, says his work sometimes involves travelling long distance and most of the times he has to leave the house in the early morning hours when it is still dark.
“With the lights having been installed in the village, I will not have to worry about being attacked by criminals when I happen to leave while it is still dark outside, and that will have improved my work and by extension, my life” he adds.
Irara, who lives in Kianda village and is waiting to join college, hopes that the lights are installed as soon as possible, to help her while leaving or coming back from her early morning or late night classes incase she will have any, once she joins college.

The survey was conducted by 10 youth from Kibera, who walked from one household or business, to the other, with a set of questions that helped to determine the state of security in each village and the location of each light within that said village.

As the project proceeds, we are looking forward to getting more feedback from the residents in the post-installment survey once the lights have been installed in all the designated areas.

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A stream that flows into Nairobi dam along Lindi and Silanga villages in Kibera flooded into residential houses following heavy rains that has been going on for a while now, while in Mathare, those living along the banks of Mathare river have been affected the most, with several families losing loved ones.
The county government has advised those living along river banks to find an alternative place to move to instead of endangering their lives.

(Picture By Grace Muloma)

Residents living in Silanga near Nairobi dam came across motorbike broken at the flooded dam and it was unclear if it was swept away just by itself or if the owner was also swept alongside it.
According to the county government, up to 60,000 people have been affected by the floods so far, mostly women and children.
Kibra MP Mwalimu Orero called on Nairobi Governor to help in sorting out the drainage floor in Kibra that has largely contributed to the flooding in Sarangombe, Lindi and Silanga villages of Kibera.

(Picture by Kibera Community Emergency Response Team)

“Last year, we were told to expect El Nino and a lot of funds were preserved to deal with it but at a certain point, we were told that God had been faithful and that we would not experience it, but what we are experiencing now is like El Nino. We need to have a proper way of dealing with funds, especially when funds have been preserved”, the MP said during a daybreak show on Citizen TV.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is also a former Langata MP, met with the political leadership of Nairobi including Nairobi Governor Sakaja and Senator Sifuna, to find a way forward on how to deal with the ongoing floods.

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The Waste Management Mapping In Mukuru Kwa Ruben

Mapping waste management in Mukuru Kwa Ruben was an eye opener to the challenges most people face in our informal settlements in Nairobi, where potential talents and opportunities goes unrecognized and a lot of people are not aware of the resources availed to them.

Mukuru Kwa Ruben is said to be a government reserve for mining industries and that was displayed during our recent waste management mapping where we frequently came across a group of young people working on mining residues to make money.
Like any other informal settlement in Nairobi, Mukuru battles with how to handle their waste and most end up in drainage system, with a high risk of dirt-related diseases outbreak.
Our mapping started in late December 2023, and went on for about three weeks ,which saw it end in mid January 2024.

With a group of about 20 youths from Mukuru kwa Ruben, affiliated to Mukuru Youth Oasis CBO, We mapped over 2000 households from Zone A,B,C & D of Rurie village and what stood out the most was the cooperation of the residents and their willingness to have a clean environment.
One of their biggest fear was how the installed bins were going to be managed, most residents could not believe that they were being given quality dumping bins for free.
“Who is going to empty the bins when they are full, and who is paying for that?”, were some of the questions the residents demanded answers for, other than that, they welcomed the idea of having recycle bins in every household of Rurie village.
The mapping was conducted by counting the blocks and finding out how many households and businesses were in a particular block, which helped us determine how many bins to be installed in a particular block.

From the success of this particular mapping exercise in Rurie village, I’m hoping that Map Kibera, together with the partners, will scale to other villages of Mukuru kwa Ruben and by extension, into other informal settlements in Nairobi who are also battling with the challenge of waste management.

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Day Of Protest Turns Ugly In Kibera

It’s Tuesday, 28th March 2023, a day after the Anti-government protests rocked Kibra and escalated to community conflict that left a Mosque along Karanja road, PCEA Kibera Church, a school and several business outlets go up in smoke’

Religious leaders from SUPKEM, NCIC, NCCK, Civil Society and Police representatives are in Kibera to bring together the warring sides and restore peace.

Raila odinga had earlier met with Nubian leaders as a way of restoring peace and reconciliation in Kibra.

On Monday 27th March, It all started with tension brewing after the motorcade of Azimio party leader Raila Odinga and his team led protesters along Kibera drive. There were reports of muggings and daylight robberies, where Citizen TV journalists fell victim to.

It is believed that a group of unidentified youths later on set ablaze the mosque along Karanja road, and this allegedly attracted a revenge act from a different group who, according to a number of eye witnesses, decided to burn down the PCEA Kibera church.

Small road side businesses lining from Karanja stage all the way to olympic were reduced to ashes, leaving residents counting heavy losses.

“My leather-sewing industrial machine worth 150 thousand, plus chairs and beds were all taken away,” narrates Gordon, a business owner at Karanja stage who had a furniture and an M-pesa shop, that were all robbed.

Several leaders across the devide have all come out to condemn this inhuman act.

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Anti-Government Azimio Protests Rock Kibera

Monday 20th March, Azimio coalition leaders and supporters took to the streets to protest the rising cost of living and the purported 2022 election malpractices.

The first day of the protests saw police clash with Azimio supporters nationwide, with Azimio strongholds being the most targeted.
In Kibera, teargas smoke clouded the air, with stone-peddling youths engaging the anti-riot police in a day-long running battles, even as they burnt tires and carried anti-Government slogans.

There hasn’t been any report of loss of life so far in Kibera, even as a big section of business remained shut for the better part of the day.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga announced that the protests will be taking place every Monday until the Government bows to their demands of lowering the cost of living.

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Ramadhan is the most special holy month that Muslim try to make most of. It’s also believed that it is the best time to break some habits that are not bringing you closer to Allah, it’s also a month of worship, sacrifice and charity.
The unique part of Ramadhan is that all Muslims fast for 40 days except expectant mothers, nursing mothers, sick Muslims, at least children under the age of 8years and ladies who are attending their menstrual period of which are considered unclean during the days of their menses, but later required to fast for the days they missed during their menses.
I noticed that Ramadhan and Eid interchange every month in a year, and this year’s Ramadhan started on 2nd of April on Saturday 2022 and will end in the month of 2nd may 2022. During the day, fasting starts from 5:30 am and ends when the sun has set completely in the evening, at that time most Muslim like to break their fast in mosque for prayers, and later have their Iftar together as brothers and sisters so that those who don’t have anything to eat back in their houses can share and even carry some for their neighbors too.
May Allah bless all Muslims and everyone in the world especially during Ramadhan, with his forgiveness, mercy and peace, that will bring us all closer to Him and live as our brother’s keeper. AMEN

blog written by: Evelyne Awuor.

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Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. We not only go to school to learn but also to get knowledge on how to see positivity in life from different angles.
If you educate a woman is like you educate the whole community and if you educate a man, he will only concentrate on his family alone. Says Director Richard Teka.

The role of the school is to shade light to the lives of these particular students by providing a quality education that will make them not only citizens in future but responsible citizen. says Principal Samuel Otieno.

We try very much to make the learning process an all inclusive process that makes it as enjoyable as possible. In order to understand the children and their challenges, to meet them at the very point of need thus helping them with the challenges that they face, we first try and understand them, and then from there we will know what will be the best thing for them. Says Principal Geofrey Ongaro.

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
Written by; Evelyne Awuor.

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The mind of a creative genius is a strange and wonderful thing. Not only have great artists created great work of art that have shaped culture and the human experience for centuries, they also have interesting insight as to why they do what they do. Most of them could say things in shapes and in colors that they couldn’t say it in any other way; these are the things that have no words to explain them better than art.

“What drove me into drawing was when I was in biology class, and my teacher noticed my drawing on curves. From that he created an art club and that’s how my journey started. Most of the time when I draw I focus on the social life, being that am born and raised in the slum. I have been attached to the social life, how people connect, how they do their activities and how we grow as a communities, I try to bring these special moments with figures into my pieces. Art is a skill and I believe it has an energy that can bring change to the community. I am an evidence on what art can do in someone’s life” says Faith Atieno.

“I have done different drawings on the wall and my favorite is the one I did on broken Kenya map while someone’s hand trying to fix it, the story behind it, is to show no matter what happens here in our country, will always find a way to fix it and as local citizens, we should not let other people take advantage of us, lets stand out and speak for ourselves, it is time to stop corruption and tribalism in our country. Drawing is just another way of keeping our diaries” says Faith Atieno.

Creativity takes courage because it enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

blog by : Evelyne Awuor.

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By empowering a woman we empower a child, by educating a girl child we make it possible for her to grow up to become an empowered woman, and through this we are able to change the mindset of “what a man can do a woman can do it better” .We are in the century where competition among gender equality no longer exists in the society today. Despite everything that is going on, girl child still faces several challenges that cannot be avoided, girls should never be afraid to be smart.

“The girl child should not allow pregnancy to start a family for them, they should still focus on education” says Abdul Ali the current Mr. pads in kibra. Through this we are able to reduce teenage pregnancy in our community especially from informal settlement.
Girl child faces a lot of the challenges in accessing sanitary towels, more so in terms of the cost, one goes @50 kshs and in a day most of them need more than one packet. There have been need to have sanitary towels that can last longer, in order to meet the needs of the girls from informal settlement to overcome all odds in the slum and to educate girls on how to use reusable sanitary towel.

“Clothe pad is going to last for a long time and it will help to keep a girl in school, the same way the government have put condom for free, I suggest they should also put sanitary pads for free at any angle either in slum or rural area”. Says loreen Atieno
Girl child should be empowered through Education, Economic, political and psychologically, they are the pillar of the society continuation of life will not be possible without them if we kill a girl’s dream today we will not have a loving daughter, sister, mother or a president in future. “GIRLS ARE GOLD THAT SHOULD NOT BE SOLD BUT TO BE TREASURED IN LIFETIME”.

Written by: EVELYNE AWUOR.

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