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Dada Talks

Dada Talks @ MSJC for Young Women’s Health, Safety & Menstrual Justice

The COVID-19 pandemic has made worse many of the social justice issues we do advocacy around. It has also unearthed many other issues that tend to be overlooked in our push for social justice. For example, following the outbreak, it became clear world over that the ‘work-from-home’ approach to the crisis was a luxury that many could not afford and that many families were sleeping hungry due to the pandemic. In response, as a social justice centre and in collaboration with our partners (both individuals, government, non-governmental organisations and the broader social justice movement), we received food donations that have helped feed many families most affected by the pandemic. While distributing food to the needy in our community, we noted that not only had the pandemic severely affected people’s livelihood, it had affected teenage girls and young women in unique ways that we had not dealt with before. Specifically, we noted that, often, most of those sent to collect food packages were young women and teenage girls no longer in school due to the pandemic. Often, the girls would collect the food packages and request for sanitary towels.  After noting a pattern of teenage girls and young women needing help with menstrual products, we mobilised within and included sanitary towels in our packages. We also started talking to the girls to understand their experiences of the pandemic. It was from these initial talks with individual girls and young women that it became clear that young women and girls were a group uniquely affected by the pandemic and whose needs brought together many issues of social justice that we’ve long advocated for. Among the issues that became clear were that:

  1. There was limited awareness on menstrual health management (MHM). Many of those that provided food packages did not for instance include sanitary towels.
  2. Menstrual health was not a priority in many families. With many parents out of work, most families prioritise food and shelter over other expenses.
  3. COVID-19 has both exacerbated and highlighted the need for a menstrual health focus. Access to menstrual products has been deprioritised by the government and parents, while most young girls and women would have access to these while in school, many are now forced to stay home as their parents cannot afford sanitary towels.

I was in this regard that we started holding weekly meetings with girls on menstrual issues that has since expanded to include broader social justice issues.

Target group

Our target group is young girls and women aged 12 to 22 years, as most of them have an understanding of menstrual health matters and can speak for themselves about issues affecting them in their communities.

Linked to broader social justice issues

We saw menstrual health as linked to many social justice issues and campaigns we’ve started since establishing MSJC. For instance, among the issues flagged by participants was that it was difficult for them to have proper menstrual hygiene when their families have to buy water during this difficult period under the pandemic. Related, the participants noted that it was often embarrassing to dispose used sanitary towels in the community as the community lacks basic sanitation facilities. Further, the issue of menstrual health is about lack of political accountability in that despite the 2019 Menstrual Hygiene Management Bill, many women and girls still lack access to affordable menstrual products. Some of these issues were highlighted by participants in the following MSJC menstrual health campaign video.

 The Objective of Dada Talks

  1. To create confidence among young women and girls (ages 12-22) for them to better express themselves when faced with challenges in the community.
  2. To understand and harness some of the young women and girl’s ideas in better managing menstrual health. E.g. some have great ideas on making reusable sanitary towels and other reusable menstrual products.
  3. To push government to change its approach to menstrual health by ensuring access of menstrual products, initially availed in schools, in communities during the pandemic and beyond.
  4. To create a safe space for young women and girls to express themselves.

Activities/ structure

  1. Hold weekly sessions with a group of 25 girls from Mathare on various topics that are affecting girls in communities.
  2. Those trained where possible to mentor others in their respective neighbourhood in the community as the centre is yet to develop a capacity to host more than 25 girls and young women.
  3. Air documentaries of women trailblazers to inspire the young women and girls
  4. Conduct community outreach where possible to reach the young women and girls unable to participate.
  5. Expose the girls to other people outside Mathare.
  6. Advocacy.

Outputs

  1. To have cells in every ward in Mathare Constituency creating awareness on menstrual hygiene and providing a safe space for young women and girls to convene.
  2. To have better access to menstrual products provided by the government
  3. Confident girls and young women that know their rights

 

See pictures from some of our sessions below!

Categories
Uncategorized

Tuna Haki Pia Report: Disability Justice For Nairobi’s Informal Settlements

Over 15 months between March 2019 – August 2020, MSJC’s disability justice campaign worked on a report highlighting the many grave injustices that people with disabilities in informal settlements live through everyday. Like our other reports, this one was anchored in participatory action research and built on previous conversations and community dialogues on disability in Mathare that we have organized over the last two years.

It is our hope that this report contributes to getting dignity and social justice for some of our most marginalised community members. And we hope you will hear their words, experiences, desires and demands and take up their call for justice. As we know and as they say: Tuna Haki Pia!

The report can be accessed through this link: https://www.matharesocialjustice.org/disability-justice-report-tuna-haki-pia/

Please share widely!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Social Justice Centres Social Justice Centres Working Group Solidarity

Citizens’ Demands by the Social Justice Movement in Kenya

Nairobi, July 8, 2020 

To: 

Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta 

President of the Republic of Kenya 

Harambee House 

 

Re: Citizens’ Demands 

 

WE members of the Social Justice Movement in Kenya; 

PURSUANT to article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya 2020, which recognizes us as Sovereigns and the source of all State authority, 

HAVING wished to present to you our petition on the 30th anniversary of Saba Saba yesterday; 

HAVING been violently disrupted by policemen sent by your administration to violate our constitutionally protected rights and freedoms including the right to peaceful assembly, expression and protest; 

FURTHER HAVING addressed various offices within your administration and received no meaningful attention; 

UNDERSTANDING that you have violated the Constitution on numerous occasion including failing to protect the lives of all Kenyans especially those of us from poor and neglected informal settlements; 

RECOGNIZING that you have taken everything from us including our dreams for a better future through institutionalized corruption; 

HAVING little to live for under your administration; 

READY AND WILLING to die for Justice, our Constitution and our Communities; 

DO NOW wish to address you and demand as follows; 

1. THAT you should understand that you are our leader and not ruler 

2. THAT we are sovereign citizens and not your subjects 

3. THAT implementation of the Constitution is not a choice but a duty for you and all of us 

4. THAT you have no right to mutilate our Constitution for narrow and selfish political interest to the detriment of the rest of the 50 million Kenyans 

5. THAT we demand that stop the BBI process immediately; implement the Constitution in full; no excuses! Tekeleza Katiba sasa! 

6. THAT you must direct the BBI budget to services that Kenyans really need especially provision of water, food, sanitation and healthcare 

7. THAT you must respect and Implement the Bill of Rights without any qualification or exception – Kenyans rights are not a privilege for you to regulate; they are an entitlement and we are ready to die for them 

8. THAT you must stop killing us – terminate and prosecute all the Officers Commanding Police Stations that have contracted extrajudicial killings in Nairobi and across the country; terminate and prosecute all the Police officers who have participated, abetted or aided extrajudicial killings; terminate and prosecute all the Police officers who have concealed and/or compromised investigations on extrajudicial killings 

9. THAT you must stop playing the game of musical chairs with criminal police officers; you must stop transferring them from one police station to another; we demand that they every rogue police officer must be terminated, prosecuted and those found guilty jailed; all of them 

10. THAT you must stop criminalizing youth and poverty; stop it immediately 

11. THAT you must stop weaponizing COVID 19 against Kenyans; stop police harassment and extortion of Kenyans; we demand a proper record of all resource that have been raised to help Kenyans deal with the pandemic; and we demand prosecution of all those who have stolen resources meant for communities and Kenyans from the local level to the national government 

We are tired of being victims and being terrorized by criminal state violence! If you do not respect our existence, expect our revolt! 

We demand and expect to hear from you within the next 7 days, failure to which we shall be back in the streets… and this time we shall not get out of the streets until something yields! 

For and on behalf of Social Justice Movement in Kenya; (see downloadable version here: SJCWG Citizens Demands)

Wilfred Olal 

Convener, Social Justice Centres Working Group 

0722746164 

Faith Kasina 

Convener, Social Justice Centres Working Group 

0723133329 

CC: 

All Sovereign Citizens of Kenya 

National Assembly of Kenya through the Speaker 

The Senate of the Republic of Kenya through the Speaker 

President of the Supreme Court and The Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya 

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights 

 

 

Categories
Social Justice Centres Social Justice Centres Working Group Solidarity

Press Release: Saba Saba March For Our Lives – Tekeleza Katiba

30/06/2020

PRESS RELEASE

SABA SABA MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: TEKELEZA KATIBA

Introduction

Members of the press, comrades in the struggle and community members, today we are gathered here at Kayole Community Justice Centre, to launch a series of activities geared towards our annual March in quest for justice famously dubbed as “saba saba march for our lives”.

The previous marches have been organised around injustices that we are faced with collectively from the communities that we come from, nothing has changed only that this time round we aren’t marching to the historic Kamukunji grounds but rather to Harambee avenue to present our grievances to the head of state whom the buck stops with, and is constitutional mandated to safeguard our wellbeing as a nation and not a chosen few.

The following are the issues we need to bring to his immediate attention

 

Police Brutality, Extrajudicial Executions and Enforced Disappearances

Despite the extensive input deployed towards police reforms, the police force remains a scare and a threat to the existence of many innocent lives in our informal settlements. The rise in extrajudicial killings in our settlements is a worrying trend that has left many citizens disheartened. The deliberate shooting of innocent lives and petty offenders without a second thought is the reality we are faced with on daily basis. The saddening bit is that only those cases highlighted by the media are the ones given attention whereas justice is denied to the larger section of the victims.

Equally, a worrying trend of enforced disappearance is emerging within our informal settlements as the new form of dispensing justice to suspects by the police. Such trends have been observed in Dandora, Kariobangi, Korogocho, Githurai and Kiamaiko. In this regard, we are still yet to receive any substantive information on the Kiamaiko three who disappeared on March 24th on their way from Thika.

Those who are lucky not to have fallen victim of EJE yet aren’t off the hook; they are faced with the scare of assault, extortion or harassment in the hands of the very ones bestowed with the duty to protect them.

 

Violation of Article 43

Despite the Constitution granting every citizen with rights to basic needs, i.e. water, food, shelter, housing, health, education and social security, we continue to witness the violations of these rights by the government.

Many of the informal settlements go for weeks without water, a basic commodity for survival. Those unlucky are force to walk for long distance in search for water, tagging along their children whereas the other half are left to be exploited by water cartels who sell them water at a fee which is quite expensive. Our attempts to raise this matter with various stakeholders fall on deaf ears with some of our colleagues ending up being arrested and charged in court.

Notwithstanding the scare presented by the covid-19 situation, with the recent demolitions in Kariobangi and Ruai, the government has rendered over 5000 families homeless, turning many to scavenging for food for survival.

Better healthcare still remains a mirage and a privilege of the rich. The status of our local facilities need immediate ICU like attention by the state and the county governments.

It is also important to note that the current pandemic we are faced has resulted in many being rendered unemployed, which has expanded the already bulged basket of the unemployed. Yet the intervention given by the government offers little or no hope to those unemployed, who are struggling for survival in the informal sector, but rather hope to medium sized businesses with sizeable capital. The already overburdened citizens are faced with an increase in VAT and the introduction of hustlers/mama mboga tax.

Funny enough, there are no jobs for the youths other than clearing trenches, but commissions and committees are formed to accommodate the old political allies of the states

 

Shrinking Civic Space

All indications are clear that the democratic curve in the country is gravitating towards dictatorship despite the previous milestones we have made to secure the space.

The unlawful takeover of Nairobi County by the NMS and bestowing it to the military, the silencing of parliament by executive and the struggling  judiciary are all indicators that our future as a nation is worrying.

Citizens are denied the right to assemble and organise whereas a section of the political class are favoured and accorded the to right to assemble.

 

Tekeleza Katiba

We do believe that the solutions to all our problems are entrenched in the Constitution and we demand for its full implementation and nothing else.

 

Saba Saba March for Our Lives.

Just like the previous two marches that have been very peaceful and nonviolent, we assure the Kenyan citizens that this year’s march shall equally be peaceful. We request the police to grant us our constitutional right to march against injustices and present our petition to the office of the president. We also ask the police for protection like they have done in the previous marches.

Thank you

Social Justice Movement

Categories
EJE Campaign Police Brutality Social Justice Centres Working Group Solidarity

Mathare Social Justice Centre strongly condemns the “visit” of known killer cop Rashid and two police officers to our centre on June 30, 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

On Tuesday, June 30 at 11 am, Rashid, the known killer policeman from Pangani police station came to Mathare Social Justice Centre with two of his colleagues; Rashid and one of the other policemen were in civilian clothing and the other police officer was in a full blue suit.

After introducing themselves, they said they had come to “lodge a complaint” against a person called “Ali” who had supposedly been discrediting Rashid on social media. Because of this they demanded to see the leadership of the organization. Jennifer, our administrative officer, and Lucy Wambui, an MSJC human rights monitor, were in the office, and said they did not know Ali. It is important to note that Lucy Wambui’s husband, Christopher “Maich” Maina, was killed by Rashid in 2017. A witness to Maich’s killing was also killed by Rashid in 2018.

After saying they did not know Ali, thereafter Rashid said that he knows that many people come to MSJC to complain about him, and he wants to speak with our leadership to share “his side of the story.” Him and his colleagues also asked for tea, and Rashid emphasized more than three times that he wanted to be served by Lucy Wambui.

As a police officer, Rashid is certainly aware of the legal avenues to lodge a complaint, therefore we consider his request an excuse to enter our space and intimidate us. Above all, since MSJC has been documenting the killings of youth by the police in Mathare since 2015, a large number of these killings which have been done by Rashid himself, we can only interpret his visit to the MSJC office to “lodge a complaint” as a threat to our members.

What’s more, as the Social Justice Centres work on planning the Saba Saba March For Our Lives against police killings, enforced disappearances and all forms of state violence, his visit at this time also counts as intimidation as we build towards this important March.

We demand that the National Police Service ((NPS) and Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) take this threat on MSJC seriously. We also urge other relevant grassroots and civil society actors to stand in solidarity with MSJC at this time.

We continue strongly in our commitment to demand justice and dignity for all victims of police violence.

In solidarity,

Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC)

 

Categories
Police Brutality Social Justice Centres Social Justice Centres Working Group

MSJC statement after Huruma Police Station Officers threaten Rahma Wako, Demtila Gwala Wairimu and Kimani Mburu

Mathare Social Justice Centre Statement after Huruma Police Station Officers threaten Human Rights Defenders Rahma Wako, Demtila Gwala Wairimu and Kimani Mburu

27 May 2020

Mathare Social Justice Centre strongly condemns the threats directed at three human rights defenders who are members of two social justice centres: Kiamaiko Community Justice Centre (KCJC) and Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC). These activists are: Rahma Wako, Demtila Gwala Wairimu and Kimani Mburu.

These three committed human rights defenders (HRDs) have been involved in human rights activism in Huruma ward and Mathare Constituency as a whole for over a decade. More recently they been involved in demanding justice for Yasin Moyo, the 13-year-old boy killed on his balcony by the police on March 30, demanding answers after the disappearances of Michael Njau, Adan Mohammed Sibu and Samuel Mungai, and supported the family of 2-month old baby Asnat who required hospitalization and breathing support after the police threw a teargas canister into her house on Friday May 22.

Since they created awareness about these cases, and especially since they took the family of Asnat to Huruma police station to record a statement on Tuesday May 26, these three activists have been receiving threats from officers at the Huruma Police Station.

We demand that the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the National Police Services (NPS) investigate these threats and help maintain the safety of the three activists. In addition, we call on all citizens, activists and organizations who believe in social justice to demand an end to the police victimization of all Kenyans and support grassroots organizations and social justice centres as we work to ensure the safety of Rahma Wako, Demtila Gwala Wairimu and Kimani Mburu. (statement also available here MSJC statement after threats to 3 HRDs – May 27 2020)

In solidarity,

Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC)

 

Categories
Uncategorized

“Death by coronavirus or hunger?” MSJC’s Dennis Orengo on the BBC Food Chain Podcast

One of our ‘field marshals’ at MSJC, Dennis Orengo, was featured in a recent BBC Food Chain Podcast examining the struggles for food that communities in India and Kenya are dealing with, and that are made worse by the pandemic. Orengo talks about how the lockdown in Kenya has impacted many families in poor settlements, and the reality of having to eat only one meal a day. You can listen through this link:

 

Categories
Maji ni Haki/Water Campaign

Water Scarcity in Mathare During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Nyambura Kamau, Coordinator of the Maji ni Haki campaign at MSJC

On March 13th, Kenya reported the first Covid-19 case. In order to stop contracting the disease, people have been advised to wash hands regularly with running water and soap, among other ways like social distancing.  But the term running water in Mathare and entire Eastlands area is a mirage. This poses a challenge as there has been inadequate water supply in the area, the water is only available at least 3 times a week in most wards. However, this is not always the case. Bearing in mind also that the water available is contaminated and therefore not fit for human consumption or useable in anyway. The price of water has hiked from the normal 5 Kenya shillings per 20 litre jerry can to 10-20 shillings.

Water point in Mashimoni area, Mathare. There has been lack of water for a period of 12 years from this point. “Photo/ Nyambura Kamau”

Since post-election violence twelve years ago, the water service provider cut the water supply in almost all the wards in Mathare area. Therefore, the main source of water supply is private in most wards; the water vendors and cartels are involved in supplying water. Yet the plot owners who have water meters are required to pay a standing fee of 407 Kenya shillings monthly. They asked the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company to come disconnect and carry their meter as a solution, however, they were shocked to be asked to pay the standing fee despite them not having the meter. Not only is there inadequate water supply but also the water is contaminated. According to a research Maji ni Haki, Maji ni Uhai (water is life, water is a right) carried out by Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC), in 2018 the water was found to be contaminated with bacteria Escherichia coli known as E Coli, which is well known to cause bacterial infections like diarrhea, fever and many more.

 

Children at Mathare 3A fetching water. Water scarcity has been a norm here during this pandemic. “Photo/ Nyambura Kamau”

Most of the Mathare residents work as casual laborers in Eastleigh, as now it is a hotspot of Covid-19 in Nairobi. Therefore, running water is a necessity as the residents require to wash their hands regularly in order to stop contracting the disease. For example, residents of Kosovo and Huruma have stayed for 4 and 13 days respectively with no water. This is really a big concern and needs to be worked on. “I have to walk to Ruaraka Constituency to fetch water,” says Salim, a resident of Kosovo. According to Alex a worker at a car wash in Kosovo, they sometimes fetch water from Nairobi River and use it to wash the cars. This is not suitable but it’s the best they can do in order for them to earn a daily wage.

“I have to walk to Kiamaiko or any other place to fetch water and carry it myself because relying on the water vendors is double the price that I do not have,” says Elizabeth, a resident of Huruma, where there has been lack of water for at least 2 weeks now. People are wondering where the leaders they elected are since they are nowhere to be seen. Various government officials and well-wishers have donated tanks and soap. This is a good gesture and people are happy, but the thing is the tanks are empty. Lack of water has been so rampant that water vendors are allowed to fetch water at the nearby Huruma Primary. In Bondeni for example, there is a borehole being drilled. But the question is whether officials are ready to test the water more frequently as the water may be susceptible to contamination?

Hence, most families in Mathare are unable to implement the new measures for the prevention of Covid-19, like washing hands or using sanitizers as most of them have lost their jobs and have no money to buy water, food or any other mandatory essential required. Not forgetting that social distancing sounds like a joke in this area. Mathare residents also have a right to clean and adequate supply of water.

 

Categories
MSPARC - Mathare Special Planning Area Research Collective

Urgent recommendations for a people-centered COVID-19 government response in Mathare

The Mathare-Special Planning Area Research Collective — M-SPARC came together in 2019, to try and bring about people-centered planning and upgrading in Mathare. A Mathare-led initiative, this collective has also come together during the pandemic to provide material assistance to residents of this settlement. MSJC is part of these efforts, and within this collective has contributed to recommendations to the government, in order to make state responses more grounded and inclusive. These recommendations are below and can also be downloaded hereMSPARC Recommendations

By, The Mathare-Special Planning Area Research Collective — M-SPARC 

The current situation in Mathare

Out of 434 Mathare respondents of a Muungano wa Wanavijiji COVID-19 response survey conducted in early April 2020, 54% said they were taking personal measures to protect themselves; 43% were involved in organizations supporting others in their community, and a vast minority said that they had seen necessary actions being conducted by the National government, 17%, or the County Government, 14%. Related, with 69% of respondents taking it upon themselves to create awareness and 24% engaging in the distribution of essentials such as soap and sanitizer, we can make out the huge role that community groups and individuals are playing in protecting their communities against COVID-19. This is a role that surpasses that of the government – both National and County Governments. At the same time, since 38% of respondents said they still do not have adequate information about COVID- 19, and 56% said they lack adequate water while the vast majority, 89%, said they do not have basic needs (food, rent etc.,) to adhere to the protection measures, it is imperative that the governments, both National and County, play their part in supporting the Mathare community (and other poor areas) in their local COVID-19 response efforts. Based on these documented experiences of the past few weeks, we urge the government of Kenya to take up the following recommendations to make the COVID19 response in informal settlements effective, safe and dignified for all:

1.We urge the government to ensure a steady flow of water to all informal settlements and to all parts within these neighborhoods.

Many poor settlements still lack a sufficient water supply, despite the government directive that they should be provided with free water for the next few months, and this greatly exacerbates the overall risk situation here and hampers many initiatives by residents and local organizations to make water available for frequent hand washing in public spaces. The boreholes that have been dug by the government do not solve this problem sufficiently. Also, people with meters have been forced to pay 400 KES per month without the flow of water.

2. We urge the government to work through local community-led organizations in the informal settlements when distributing food, sanitation and protection items.

Much of the distribution of food, masks and hand sanitizers did not work through local organizations, and as a result has ended up endangering many recipients because of the chaos that ensued. These initiatives are also highly exclusive because they often go through influential people in the communities. Community-led organizations know their community and are held accountable by them for an even, fair and safe distribution of donations and other items. They know best how to organize a safe and respectful manner in which items can be distributed to those most in need. We also urge that food delivery and any other type of support, like the cash donations, from the government be adequate, inclusive and on an ongoing basis.

3. We urge the government to include youth as Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and in other public health interventions in informal settlements.

Many of the current CHVs in informal settlements are older and some are HIV positive, which means that they are more at risk of becoming severely affected by the corona virus. The youthfulness and healthy immune systems of youth make them fit for this type of work under these circumstances. In addition, following the stringent corona measures, many of these youth in informal settlements have lost their access to work. Hence, including them as CHVs in the government’s public health outreach under its COVID19 response would also support these youth in earning a stipend during such dire economic times. However, the recent first attempt by the government to hire youth as part of fumigation efforts in Mathare has ended up in chaos due to lack of government planning and corruption, and  youth uncertain of the process were met with a disproportionally heavy-handed response by police (see point 4). This blatantly shows the need for a people-driven planning of Mathare through the declaration of Mathare as a Special Planning Area for this would enable community-led organizations and groups to work together with the government to organize both the employment of youth in such schemes and in the participatory planning and improvement of Mathare to benefit safety, health and economic outcomes, all at once. The knowledge on how Mathare can be organized and improved lies with the people living here who are already developing local mechanisms of development, work and care. By declaring Mathare a Special Planning Area, the government can build with and strengthen the local knowledges, achievements and arrangements through which government objectives concerning health, economy and safety could easily be achieved.

4. We urge the government to condemn the violent and corrupt mode of enforcing the current curfew and other corona measures in place by the police.

Our organizations have been flooded with incident reports on police who kill, maim and beat residents in the informal settlements, and even inside their own homes, when supposedly enforcing the curfew and other measures to stop COVID19 from spreading. The killing of Yassin Moyo, a 13 year old resident of Kiamaiko, Mathare, by police while he was standing on his own balcony is just one devastating example of many instances of the use of excessive force by police. Besides using illegal force, the police have also been reported to us, by many residents in informal settlements, as taking advantage of the corona measures to extort money from residents. On top of this, a shocking number of young people have disappeared in recent weeks. Some have been found beaten but alive in police stations after days of searching, while others are yet to be found.

5. We urge the government to include community-led organizations, such as the local Muungano Wanavijiji leaders, in the local task force committees.

At present, the local task force committees that operate under the national task force steering the government’s response to COVID19 draw membership from local Nyumba Kumi groups and village elders. While local community-led organizations have vast experience reaching the residents who are most in need and are in general the first responders to any type of crisis in these neighborhoods (fire, cholera outbreaks, violence etc.), they are not part of the local task force steering the local COVID19 response. Not including their immense experience and local knowledge could thus seriously jeopardize the effectiveness of the government’s COVID19 response in informal settlements. Moreover, the collective awareness, research and food and water distribution efforts they are engaged in during this time, and that precede local government efforts, make imperative their involvement in the local and national COVID-19 committees.

6. We urge the government to work together with residents and other community-led organizations to locate safe and dignified isolation centers for COVID19 patients in or nearby the informal settlements.

The plan to have a few large-scale isolations centers, for instance in Kasarani stadium, has sparked enormous fear among residents of informal settlements. Since the proposed centers are far from their homes, this will discourage many people from coming forward when having symptoms, and in this way completely obstructing the COVID19 response in these neighborhoods. There are many local options known by the local organizations that could help residents suffering from COVID19 to stay close to where they live while receiving adequate and dignified care.

Under the banner of the Mathare Spatial Planning Area Research Collective:

1) Ghetto Foundation

2) Muungano wa Wanavijiji

3) Kiamaiko Community Justice Centre

4) Mathare Social Justice Centre

5) Slum Dwellers International-Kenya

6) Naipolitans

7) Muungano AMT

8) Kounkuey Design Initiative

 

 

 

Categories
EJE Campaign Mothers of Victims & Survivors Network Social Justice Centres Working Group

“War against the poor and youth”: Video of UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard Solidarity Visit to Mathare

In February 2020, Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitration executions, came to Mathare to take part in a community-led conference that focused on the rampant extrajudicial killings of the poor in Nairobi. We greatly appreciated her solidarity visit, and we continue together to demand justice for our people.  In this video she talks about this visit, and the “war against the poor and youth” that Kenya and other states are waging. We thank Peace Brigades International for their work to bring Agnes Callamard to our community. See the video below.

https://youtu.be/3S3nAWaad5g