Posts tagged ‘Map International’

February 1, 2014

Slums and Nairobi Master Plan

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.

August 9, 2011

Community Mapping Starts in Tandale, Dar

Community mapping starts at Dar es Salaam

The community arrived on time as expected and so were the students from department of Urban Planning from University of Ardhi University. This is a unique partnership through which students bring their expertise while community contributes their experience for development.

Tandale is one of the wards in Dar es Salaam and is made up of six sub-wards. The ward has a development committee and there is an Executive Ward Officer who oversees the implementation of government policies at the ward level. Some wards like Masese have been fairly developed and has improved infrastructure courtesy of World Bank  support under the Community Infrastructure Upgrading Program facility. The story is different in the neighbouring which is prone to flooding, poor access road and drainage / sanitation system. However people are wonderful and despite it being a ‘mtaa’ as our host described it one cannot compared it to places like Mathare and Kibera. It is far much better.

As in all workshops there was a brief introduction on the purpose of the Tandale mapping project which was ‘to introduce use of participatory technologies for development in Tandale by producing a base map and starting community media initiative.

The forum was started off by a speech by Tandale Word Executive Manager. More than 37 people including community members. Participants were happy to learn that they can be able to produce a map about their community and use to engage with the government and NGOs in the development and improvement of infrastructure. Currently Tandale and most of Dar es Salaam appears as blank spot on the Open Street Map platform.

Some of the suggestion participants shared on how maps and the use of citizen reporting can be used for development included;

–          The map produced will help improve dialogue between community and development partners for infrastructure improvements

–          Through citizen mapping, the community will highlight its own issues as opposed to mainstream media which focuses on mostly the negatives

–          The use of map and community reporting will help stimulate adoption of local solution to problems faced by the communities

–          The community will acquire new skills in ICT helpful in mass circulation / distribution of information

For the next four weeks, Map Kibera Trust will be in Dar es Salaam training community members and students on community participatory mapping skills, use of simple technologies and citizen reporting.

LESSON LEARNT: Communities are capable of interpreting maps they have participated in developing and using it to initiate dialogue with development partners and government agencies. What communities needs is ‘method’ of presenting the data collected.


August 6, 2011

Map Kibera Trust in Dar es Salaam

Community Mapping, participation, involvement and engagement are commonly used word when it comes to development. I have been Dar es Salaam for the last one week and I have manage to learn the real meaning of these words.

Starting tomorrow, be ready to be taken through ‘use of participatory approach and simple technologies’ in enhancing development. Technology is the only universal language that speak development for people by the people.


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