NGOs launch new tool to map water and sanitation in Kenya’s largest slum

Kibera WikiMedia Commons

Kibera WikiMedia Commons

With an estimated 1.2-million residents, Kibera is Africa’s second largest and one of the biggest slums in the world with some of the poorest living conditions. It’s degrading and dehumanising to live there, amidst abject poverty, drugs and periodic violence and contagious diseases. The worst problem, however, is access to water and sanitation facilities.

A new partnership between US’s Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) and Nairobi-based Spatial Collective and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company is developing an online map to help increase information on access to municipal water and sanitation data.

The data is not for direct consumption by Kibera’s residents but is primarily aimed at helping non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations, and entrepreneurial individuals to easily implement water and sanitation (WATSAN) projects in the slum.

According to the partners, the WATSAN portal will allow users to launch high-quality water and sanitation projects in Kibera with ease in a move expected to increase the residents access to these facilities. The map will be used as a tool for decision-making to help in the slum’s service delivery.

By geo-referencing all data on water and sewerage infrastructure, the WATSAN project expects to open up access to municipal data; thereby increasing the total number of residents with access to decent water and sanitation in this impoverished area. The pilot is already ongoing for Kibera’s Gatwekera and Laini Saba villages.

KDI received a US$100 000 grant from The Rockefeller Foundation in January 2013 to develop the WATSAN Portal. Other maps in the slum include MapKibera and Voice of Kibera among others.

This article by Sam Wakoba originally appeared on TechMoran, a Burn Media publishing partner. Image: Wikimedia Commons.



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