IS KENYA READY FOR A RUN OFF?

One may argue that Kenya is prepared for a run off in the election. Financially? Yes, I think the IEBC may or can handle the do over of the election, but this is the question is Kenya as a nation ready for this?

It is only days away to the election and report released by the KNHRC commission shows that business are closing down or reducing their stocks to avoid losses that come with political violence, this is a threat to the national economy. We risk another recession in the near feature considering the tension and anxiety that comes with election, this has resulted to a massive exodus of people from the places they live to their rural home where they feel safe in the comfort of their tribes men. There are all indication of citizens not contended with their national security or with the national healing and reconciliation process. With 95% of our economy financed by Kenyans this posses a real threat to our country GDP growing rate which with every election year has been dropping . This post a great threat to the common Mwananchi who in case of a runoff has to again live in tension for the next 30 days, with fears of the unknown with a staggering economy where the labor output is almost running at zero % due to the national working days being reduced to pave way for the election and to give people a chance to vote. All we as a nation can hope for or pray for are peaceful election. Who ever win the election will be my president because am a Kenyan. MAY GOD BLESS KENYA.

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Radar trains citizen reporters in Kibera

Radar trained citizen reporters yesterday at Map Kibera Trust Office in preparation for upcoming general election coverage.

This is the final training for Map Kibera Trust members, who have been trained on Micro-reporting and blogging to make sure they report appropriately what will be transpiring at the polling station on fourth of march 2013. The micro-reporting model is designed for mobile phone reporting, which is a key tool for Voice of Kibera reporting.

“In micro-reporting, you use 20-25 words to tell the whole story. the message should contain the 5Ws + H.” said Libby Powell, the trainer.

The training  covered topics like hate speech verses criticism , the difference between facts and opinions and the difference local and international audience, and how they consume news. It also covered the safety of journalists when covering elections, and impartiality.

“We have trained 40 reporters so far who will monitor elections in 7 constituencies in Nairobi county” said Kepha Ngito, Map Kibera Trust CEO.

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Map Kibera Trust awareness creation in readiness to the Election Monitoring in March.

Map Kibera Trust is an organization started in Kibera way back in 2009. It comprises with 3 Kibera programs which are the Mapping Team, Kibera News Network and the Voice of Kibera as well as programs in Mathare and Mukuru.

Map Kibera Trust Vision is a society in which access to open information contribute to positive community transformation.

In line with its vision and the readiness to monitor and cover the upcoming elections there are lined up activities geared towards having a successful process. Some of these activities are the Wall Painting along the Kibera Drive, Map distribution, Media outreach, Community screening, Presentations, Stakeholder Mapping and fliers and posters distributions.

We have successfully managed to do Map Distribution, Community screenings, Presentations, Stakeholder Mapping and Posters and Fliers distributions.

Wall Painting

Having done the first digital map in Kibera late in 2009 the Trust has always been in an exercise of updating the map, printing and doing the distribution to Organisations in Kibera based on their thematic areas of operation which include Health, Security, Education among others.

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In light of the fact that Kibera is densely populated it was not possible to distribute the maps to everybody and as such Map Kibera Trust sought to have the map painted on the wall.

Several attempts were made to find the wall on which to paint, finally a place was identified along Kibera drive opposite the Mosque.

The wall painting of the map will see other successful paintings in Kibera which will easy access to information and stir up community engagements at different levels.

As a matter of fact our mission of being a reliable source of community generated information will be achieved.

The power of information provided by the maps if well utilized will trigger development in Kibera and its environs.

Poster and Flier Distribution

On the 7th, 8th and 9th posters and fliers were distributed apart from sticking them in strategic area like DC, Kianda, Soweto and Highrise.

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The main aim of doing the distribution was to get the general public participation in reporting the events unfolding during this elections period since we will not be in all the locations at the same time.

As the Voice of Kibera we will produce and distribute posters and fliers 3 days to the election date whose content will focus on the key issues to report about and the social media links where we will interact with them during the elections period.

As we move to create awareness in Gatwekera, Kambi Muru, Olympic, Makina  and Kisumu Ndogo we are optimistic that we will meet community members who are willing to complement our work during and after the election exercise. “Our team will go out of their way to report on the good as well as bad things happening at that time. This will put to a stop the misreporting/propaganda from the mainstream media.” Said the Voice of Kibera Team.

By VOK Team

Posted in Education, Elections, Empowerment, Environment, Health, Kibera, People, politics, Security, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rumours That Shape Kibera Politics: Party Nominations Dispute

Kibera street political analysts, as I may call them, and rumour mongers, have a very thin line separating them if the happenings of the past few days is anything to go by.

After fierce campaigns on 6th and 7th January, the ODM nominations were to take place on 18th.

The 18th came and people went to vote in one peace each confident that his or her candidate will clinch the party ticket.

After a full day of voting, rumours took over and went round on Friday 19th that the ODM Sarangombe county representative ticket had gone to Mr. Owino Ko’tieno, this was later to be confirmed by the returning officer at olympic primary school polling station.

The same rumours claimed that Mr. Amayo, a Kibra MP contestant had clinched the ODM ticket, hours later the same rumours reversed their claim that the confirmed winner was Mr. Ken Okoth. I never got to know how the confirmation came about and never bothered to ask since one didn’t actually need to ask, they would tell it to you anyway.

So I came to believe it when a friend told me that Mr. Ken Okoth had actually updated on social media that he had clinched the ODM ticket to run for Kibra mp.

It was at this point that the street political analysts of Kibera picked the story, and by saying street political analysts, I mean those individuals who stand by the roadside especially at newspapers vending points with a handful crowd around them, as they analyze the political situation of the moment. Try walking at olympic or kamkunji grounds, Kibera on a Sunday and you can’t miss them.

On this day, they took to analyze the possibility of Mr. Ken Okoth winning and how he had done it. According to one such analyst, Mr. Ken Okoth had only won in 2 polling stations and therefore could not be declared the winner. He argued that laini saba area residents had not been allowed to vote, and the area, according to him, was an Amayo stronghold.

As the rumour picked the story and went round with it, breaking it down in different versions, it seemed a group of youths decided to react to the rumour and marched to orange house in kilimani area, which houses ODM headquaters, to allegedly protest over why laini saba residents were denied a chance to participate in the nominations, where they were reported to have engaged in property destruction.

And despite the ODM electoral board announcing on a press conference that no certificate had been issued to any candidate yet, a rumour still went round that Mr. Owino Ko’tieno, who had been announced the winner of county rep. ODM ticket, had been denied the certificate, and, according to the rumour, given to Mr. Kajwang, who was also contesting for county representative ODM ticket in sarangombe. It’s believed that this could have been the reason for the rowdiness that followed thereafter that led to youths engaging in property destruction at Redrose school in olympic, a school that is believed to be owned by Mr. Ken Okoth, who, according to random sources in Kibera, was being accused of working to make sure Mr. Owino Kotieno did not have the certificate. There were several versions of this story depending on who you ask, and which side he/she supported and the mood on the ground. In one particular version, Mr. Ken Okoth is alleged to have been asked who he wanted to work with and mentioned Kajwang instead of Kotieno, but I could never tell who to believe among the several story tellers I listened to.

And even after ODM board made it clear that no certificate had been issued, the youths went ahead to lay barricades along kibera drive near olympic stage.

Moments later, police from the general service unit were deployed to quell the lawlessness and violence. Running battles ensued, leaving scores of people injured among them 2 journalists from the mainstream media.

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Taking VOK Platform Awareness to Mashinani

forum

It’s barely 3 weeks to the general elections and the political temperatures are rising day in day out. As these events unfold, Map Kibera Trust has embarked on doing different activities in readiness for the big task just around the corner.

Recently we actively participated in the Party primaries nominations and updated what was going on the ground.  The exercise that was characterized by confusion by late arrival of voting materials, voting places so very many citizens wait for longer hours until later in the afternoon when the exercise started.

A few days after, there were riots witnessed in Kibera starting from Olympic where the Road leading to Ayany, Kianda and on was barricaded with burning tires. The bone of contention was that, one of the contestants was to be given a certificate but it later was given to a different contender. This sparked the violence that saw the Red Rose School in Olympic destroyed with angry protestors.

A few days later we organized a VOK presentation that targeted 30 people but 27 people showed up as 11 out of those, showed interest to actively participate in the Voice of Kibera activities as far as covering the events after, during and after the elections.  The presentation was interactive as the attendees asked questions, commented and agreed to participate in the citizen journalism activities.

“Voice of Kibera should make use of social network and beware of its exploitations where it can be tagged and sensor hate-speech from its followers”, said Otieno one of the attendees at the forum.

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With this in mind, the Voice of Kibera bid to monitor and cover the elections was gaining momentum as we seek to do the same presantation in areas of Olympic,Katwekera, Kisumu Ndogo and Kambi Muru

Why the Community Presentations

These are done mainly to bring the community onboard in terms of monitoring and reporting on what is happening in village’s across Kibera, community engagements and to do away with other mainstream media propaganda which has in the past tarnished Kibera name. It is also done to sensitize the masses of the existence of the Voice of Kibera platform and its works in the community.

We also successfully managed to carry out the posters and fliers distribution displaying the number and what people can report about before, during and after the general elections. The process is still on-going in order to cover a wider part of Kibera with plarking posters in strategic areas remaining but to be completed soon.

The Voice of Kibera together with the other Map Kibera Trust programs also managed to carry out the Stakeholder mapping process last year whose aim was to engage Organizations in Kibera on participation and linking up with local media houses which included Pamoja FM, Kibera Mirror, Kibera Journal and KiberaTV.

We trust that before the elections date, we shall have done awareness enough to enable as many people as possible to contribute to reporting of the happenings during this time that a lot of monitoring is needed so as to present Kibera to Kenya and the world as it is/ will be at that time of elections.

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Party Primary results in Kibera

Lack of ballot boxes and papers, rowdy youth, tear gas, demonstrations, burning tyres and fights characterize party nominations in Kibra and Langatta constituencies.

After the two day nomination melee in Kibra constituency, the  political parties have declared their  parliamentary and County assembly results. The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) declared  Kenneth Okoth the winner.   United Democratic Forum (UDF)   will be represented by Ndura Waruinge while James Sigar will fly the Labour Party of Kenya LPK ticket.

In Langatta constituency, United Republican Party URP will be represented by Nixon Korir. Jacob Dundos was controversially awarded the ODM certificate though Joash Olum was declared the winner. Andrew Kibe will carry the UDF flag. Stanley Livondo won The National Alliance (TNA) primaries without any campaign, though he had already decamped to UDF, and awarded the senatorial ticket.

In Laini Saba ward, ODM certificate was awarded to Cecilia Ayot, though nominations did not take place. David Kitavi was clinched the Wiper Democratic Party ticket, while James Kiarie will represent TNA.  In Sarangombe, ODM will be represented by Owino K’Otieno, though his certificate is contested. Other parties are not popular in this ward.

In Lindi ward, ODM is the only party which had released its results.  Obenge, a security guard clinched the ticket, while in Makina, the outgoing Lindi councilor Babu Adams clinched the ODM ticket. Aidaar will represent URP.  Lindi, Makina, Sarangombe,  Laini Saba and Golf course/Kenyatta wards constitute Kibra constituency, with the first four being part of the slum.

In Nyaya Highrise ward,  ODM  declared Maurice Akuk  the winner with Jacktone Kaparo as second.  Although Charles Deya is claimed to have been awarded the ODM  ticket in a controversial way. Deya is also alleged to have decamped to Wiper and awarded a direct nomination.  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be represented by Ochwacho Ojango. Tom Ndeche will carry the UDF flag while Wachira will carry the TNA ticket. Kaparo has since decamped to Ford Kenya, and awarded a direct nomination too.

In Mugumoini, the incumbent councilor Alex Mberia will fly the ODM ticket.

The two constituencies equally experienced more drama during the nomination.ODM and UDF did not conduct nominations in Laini Saba and Mugumoini wards respectively. TNA postponed its nomination on 17th due to lack of proper preparation, though they pointed an accusing finger to IEBC for availing the voter registration list late.

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Destruction of Red Rose Nursery School and Children’s Centre

After the Party nominations which happened on 17th January 2013 the residents turned into violence which ended up in the destruction of a Nursery School. According to one of the rioters they claimed that one of the MP aspirants who also owns the school had given the Sarang’ombe County representative certificate to the wrong person.

The rioters went  to the aspirants organisation to look for an explanation from the him but it was all in vain. They later matched to the Red Rose Nursery and Children’s Centre where they started the demolition after they found out he was not in the area. During the incident the children had left for their homes and were not around the school compound.

They ran down the gate of the school and were able to get in the school where they broke the windows and the walls. Police were called in the incident and were able to calm down the situation by dispersing the crowd.

Below are some photos of the destruction.

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Posted in Corruption, Crime, Education, Elections, Emergency, Insecurity, People, politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

COUNTING LOSSES FROM TRAGEDIES

  1. Fire

In the recent past Kibera has witnessed fire incidences in various locations within the slums. Most recent fires have been reported in Laini Saba, Olympic, Bombolulu, Toi market and Gatwekera villages.

Fire in Gatwekera

But what is the major cause of these fires?

Looking at the infrastructure of Kibera a larger part is an informal settlement where many people cannot comfortably afford the basic necessity in life. Due to the fact that electricity pass by their homes they are forced to do illegal electricity connections by tapping the live wire and improvising the ground wire, which in turn lead to electricity fallout. This causes over consumption which over powers the transformers hence explosion which cause fire.

Other causes are stoves, gas explosions, lanterns and candles which are often left unattended hence cause fire.

Remedies.

The government to enforce strict laws to govern the electricity distribution and a way to monitor the consumption of fire in the informal settlement. People should get the knowledge to handle electricity gadgets and gas cylinders to ensure safety of the people.

Guardians and parents should be more extra-cautious when leaving their children when the electricity is on in the house.

  1. Poor Infrastructure

Most informal settlement have poor infrastructure because they have been ignored for too long. This has retarded the development of the area, for instance inaccessible roads. During fire outbreaks it is not easy to maneuver to tragedy scenes. It is not easy to get to patients during emergencies and police are unable to do patrols during criminal incidences in different locations.

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Poor drainage systems especially during the rainy season cause disasters such as houses being swept away, impassable roads, loss of property and sometimes loss of lives.

Falling of Building in the informal settlement is caused by:

  •  Poor survey of construction land
  • Unqualified engineers and unskilled contractors
  • Heavy rains/bad weather
  • Poor/Low quality materials for construction
  • Low wages to workers hence low motivation
  • Hurry to finish the construction

Remedies

Infrastructure should be improved to ensure good drainage systems to do away disasters caused during heavy rains. Good qualified surveys and constructors should be call up for the task during construction.

VOK Team

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The Dream of the year 2012

On the dawn of 23rd December 2011 I had My Dream of The Year 2011 but this one comes four days earlier, I don’t know why.  The world has been presumed to end on Friday the 21st this year two days from now and if this is something to go by then I hand over every reason to Mother Nature. I have had a couple of dreams this year but there is a fact about dreams and going by a recent study; that a normal man can have up to seven different dreams a single night but can wake up the following morning not to recall any of them completely. But this dream I had almost at the dawn of this day the 19th of December 2012 will go along in mind for the rest of my life. The only difference between this dream and the previous ones is the fact that after meditating upon it, leaves me with a message that I believe is going to turn my world around.

The dream: I was at a neighbors homestead in Kibera slums that I assume I had passed by or merely gone to visit, on my way home. I was amazed at how they were practicing some poultry farming in their small home and had a very good number of ducks and chicken well protected in a temporary structure. I could visualize the number of eggs that they were harvesting and the amount of profit they most probably had been making at that time.
On my way home I had the notion to introduce that kind of an idea to my family and I was so excited. On reaching home I was astonished after I discovered that my home had a taken a different look and something almost similar to what I saw in my neighborhood was going on! There were structures that were meant for chicken rearing and a few of the chicken already in place although not as many as those in the neighborhood but I had the feeling that that was a good start.

While taking a walk across the compound, I was noticing some enormous changes in it and some of the land that was grabbed and built on during the 2007-2008 post election aggression by the enemies then had already been returned to us. The unfamiliar houses were demolished and my mother was trying to put a bamboo fence across the boundary, trying to bring back the shape of the homestead almost similar to what it used to be. I was so amazed.
There was also a very huge water tank raised a few meters high the ground on the compound that was supplying the area with enough water but it was owned by one of the culprits who had stormed into the foreign land. His house did not exist anymore and when I asked why, my mum told me that he had disappeared under unclear circumstances. My mum was then trying to find a way to fix our own tank. I missed this home and the feel to be home again was overwhelming, but something was still eating up my mind and that was where I had been all that time that the native home was taking back to its original shape. I even had thought of asking my mum a simple question like where I was the previous day, but she wasn’t next to me at that moment. I was beginning to get a bit confused! But an answer inside my mind told me; that all that time of change I must have been in the dream land. No sooner had I thought of having been in the dream land than I turned my body only to find myself on my current bed! So the joy of being at home again with my family was all but a Dream? I could not resist a tear drop. I was so grieved because first I woke up before the dream was over and second I wish it gave me a chance to meet my dad and siblings too and third; I miss the joy, the fun, the pets, the poultry and the family bond that was brought about by the family while staying together and more so the initial home.

Joe Gathecha KNN

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Map Kibera Trust on a map distribution drive in Kibera Slums

Team Map Kibera Ready to go out !!

Having been the first organization to put the entire Kibera slums on the world map, Map Kibera Trust; an organization that seeks to be a hub where access to open information contributes to positive community transformation was on the road again to ensure that the maps that were produced reached the community which in-turn would put them to use.

To achieve this, the program coordinators met for the preparation of distributing the maps; there intention of meeting was to bring the attention of the three programs on how they will be working together towards achieving the objective of the exercise and to come up with relevant locations for maps distribution. It was there that they agreed that members from the 3 programs; Mapping, Voice of Kibera and Kibera News Network were to go to the field to distribute the maps which had been developed based on themes. Maps on Education, Security and Health are the themes that were distributed.

 

The aim of the exercise was to give back to the community through the high quality printed maps that contain the informational that came from them during the first phase of the mapping exercise.

Villages covered.

For the 2 days that we were in the field, we were able to cover all the 13 villages; Gatwikera, Raila, Olympic, Soweto west&east, Kianda, Kambi muru, Kisumu ndogo, Lindi, Mashimoni, Makina, Silanga, and Laini Saba.   

Positive Feedback From the Field.

As we visited different places, we collected feedback from the people we found so that we could ascertain how the maps will be put to good used.

MKT member explaining to a community member details on the Map!

  1. The local administration appreciated our work and accepted to be interviewed i.e. Sarang’ombe and Laina Saba ward chiefs.
  2. Most of the institutions accepted to use the map for positive transfiguration most of the institution wanted more than one map so they can use it for informational purposes as well as Education especially the Schools we visited.
  3. We even had a chance to meet with D.O 1 (District Commissioner) who had a compliment for us saying that our map was outstanding compared to the one they had before.
  4. For those who were not able to access our maps online were able to access them on hard-copy something that was important for us since it was now realized.
  5. We ensured equal distribution of maps in at least all villages in Kibera.

Some of the Challenges.

Though most of the places we went to were very receptive, we experienced some hostility in a few areas where we were thought to be a different group out to just take advantage of the situations in Kibera by walking around to talk to people as we take photos to go and sell. After a few minutes of sharing our intentions with them, they understood us and we gave out the maps, something they congratulated us for showing a good example to organizations by sharing the findings of the work done with the community. We also found some schools that were to get maps already closed for holiday which means we will have to give them the maps when they resume school.

Conclusion.

In general, the exercise was a success only for the schools that had already closed. Going forward, we need to print big and more visible maps a suggestion that came from one of the places we visited.

Bigger Versions of the Maps Needed for Easy Visibility!

We hope that the maps distributed will not only be put to good use but also help Map Kibera Trust bond more with the community so that even as we get ready to cover the vents before, during and after the elections, we can work together to achieve optimum results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Education, Empowerment, Health, Kibera, People, Security | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment