In the above age distribution chart for Mathare Constituency, I have tried to analyze age based of the total area population as per 2009 Census and percentages from the latest CIA website; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ke.html while the total population. (Next implication of poor CDF investment to Mathare population)
I have had the opportunity of being engaged in consultative meetings regarding Nairobi Integrated Urban Master Plan (NIUPLAN) which my parents never did in 1973, this is was the last plan for Nairobi. The 1973 – 2000 master plan was developed and one of the most important issues I have noted was recognition of the urban poor, investment in provision of housing by the council and well equipped city with accessible social amenities like playing grounds and social halls.
In the meetings I have attend, lack of space and high population have been attributed to the break down in provision of services. Listening to various presenters, one easily concludes that the city has been running without master plan for 14 years while urban planning department never had experts and qualified staff to enforce some of the recommendations in the 1970 Nairobi Master Plan. During the 14 years period, Nairobi City went to the dogs. Parking spaces in some city estates were grabbed, sprawling of slums along major Nairobi river become coupled with forceful evictions, the once safe and City in the Sun paradise became Nairobbery.
Slums are not an issues. The current Nairobi master plan assumes that slums will just disappear. Listening to concerns of residents from Marurui, Thome, Kasarani and Mathare issues such as controlled development are never adhered to. In some residential areas such as Huruma, Kayole and Pangani it is common to find buildings with more than six storey without lifts.
Poor road net has greatly contributed to uncollected garbage lying in low income neighbourhoods with garbage collectors’ lorry unable to access inside these place hence continued accumulations on solid waste.
The Nairobi Master plan is a good to start in the right direction.
Walking around the community (Mathare) one will notice the high numbers of young with mobile phones. The most preferred handset among the youth are those with access to internet while old people want handset through which they can access Mpesa. People do not care much whether it is a Chinese or European make.
The days of using mobile phones for calling and talking purposes are long gone. This is just like when people used to work with computers for typing alone. When have reached a stage that access to mobile phone is slowly becoming ‘right’ for all.
The use of computers is quite rampant but not as high as use of mobile phones. There is need to investigate how use of mobile phones can be used to enhance service delivery to the people in informal settlement. The identification of services and needs will help software developers to come up with mobile phone applications to enhance efficiency in service delivery.
Having programmes to facilitate access to cheap phones and computers in the informal settlement can help stimulate meaningful dialogue for development. – Simon
People’s involved in development is not something new in Tanzania, the first president of the nation once “If real development is to take place, the people have to be involved.” Working with community members today really reminded me of this wonderful quote. As walked with a group of community members to map one of the six sub wards and the biggest, I was first struck by how community members in our training went on explaining the what the exercise was all about and one community member responded, “Baada ya kumaliza kuchora ramani mturejeshee sisi ili tuweze kuona ni jinsi gani jamii yetu inavyo kaa (When you finishing drawing the maps, bring them back to us so that we can see how our community look likes)”.
In an open society like that of Tanzania people have culture of being represented by elected people at the grass root and government has a good network of communicating with people. Therefore involving people and government agencies become gateway to success of starting community initiative. By the end of day, the government is the biggest investor in putting up infrastructure needed required for ICT development in most countries.
The use of ICT gadgets like Global Positioning System, modern video and user friendly digital cameras make it easier for people to want to use them in making and sharing information. By presenting what Ushahidi platform and its wonders, people in Tandale were eager to go out to map their community and tell their own stories. A university Amuri has today designed his blog (nyarpress.blogspot.com) page to tell stories about his community back in DCR.
Having advanced ICT drives people from sharing and accessing information. Looking back at and the most publicize Kenya Open Data website which is more relevant to researchers than ordinary citizens. Open information data need to be open and not hidden in technicalities and boring presentation. A presentation like this video demonstrates the inherent appeal of the idea shows us an appealing way of sharing information using technology can attract feelings and need for action.
Lesson Learnt: The key to people generating, sharing information in the community is dependent on how user friendly the technology be used and how it is presented.