Kibera Beauty Contest 2019

After several weeks on intense training on leadership, governance, personal branding, entrepreneurship, sexual reproductive health, and mental health, that attracted up to 25 contestants from around Kibera.

It was time to determine who becomes the Miss and Mr. Kibera 2019/2020 in an event organized by Amani Kibera in partnership with various like-minded organizations and held at Olympic bus terminus on 7th of December Saturday 2019.
It was a leadership contest whose themes were ‘Jitambulishe (Identify yourself), Jiongoze (find your focus), Jiinue (Lift yourself up).

Joyce Wanjiru clichéd the Miss Kibera title while her male counterpart Phabio Kimani won Mr. Kibera.
Kibra Mp Imran Okoth and Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris graced the occasion.

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Kibra Mp Ken Okoth dies at 41

Kibra MP Ken Okoth dies at Nairobi Hospital at 41, family says. He had been battling colorectal cancer.
He was hospitalized again after arriving from France where he was under medication.
The Kibra Mp is said to have been rushed to Nairobi Hospital on Thursday and moved to ICU on Friday after multiple organ failure.
He will be remembered for his slogan ‘Elimu Kwanza’ under which he worked to uplift education standards in the constituency.

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Poetry Against Extra-Judicial Killings in Kibera

Poetry and spoken word artists came together on Saturday 22nd June at an event in Kibera Town Centre to remember one Charlton Maina who was allegedly shot by police in Kibera on his way from watching a football match on the 22nd December 2018.

The first purpose of the event was to expose spoken word talents in an aim to popularize it as an agenda of poetry. The event was also used to speak out against illegal ownership of guns by youth and extra-judicial killings in our informal settlements’ communities. The Commonwealth Youth Counsel in charge of policy & advocacy youth chair, Nafula Wafula, was also present.
Speaking to Kibera News Network after the event, she explained how poetry and art in general can be used as a tool to fight for human rights and call out the vices that are spread in our society, through an example of their partnership with grassroots organisations.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if a large number of people who attended have actually lost someone to a bullet, for one reason or another”, said Nafula when she spoke to us.

       Poet Chief Kadif with Madam Nafula Wafula, The Commonwealth         Youth Counsel in charge of policy & advocacy youth chair, Nafula Wafula,

The event was also used to inform Kibera residents about the partnership between the event-sponsoring organisations and Chirchir Law Chambers.  Their effort is to provide free legal aid to those from Kibera who have any issues that they would like to get a legal support for.

Chirchir Law Chambers Representitives

The law firm also took the time to educate the residents on their rights especially when it comes to being arrested by the police. They took them through what the law says and how they should behave in such scenarios.

Most of the spoken word artists who performed, confessed to have composed their poems after someone they knew or a close relative fell victim to the bullet.

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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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