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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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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