Nubian IDPs in Kenya

English: Nairobi (Kenya) Skyline from the city...
English: Nairobi (Kenya) Skyline from the city center, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Slum Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.
English: Slum Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog is about the Nubians Internally Displaced Persons in Kibra, on the outskirt of Nairobi, Kenya.

Definition of IDP

Persons or group of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of, or in order to avoid the effect of armed conflict, situation of generalized violence.

Nubians occupied Kibra, a 4000 acre piece of land on the outskirt of Nairobi – the capitol city of Kenya since mid 19th century. Nairobi was not the capitol city at the time. The land was given as a gift to the Sudanese soldiers who were brought to Kenya by the then British colonial government.

However, lack of security of tenure for the Kibra land has been used to push them away from their surveyed plots to give way to ‘ sputtering ‘ housing upgrading projects that have hardly benefited the Nubian community, as majority of them became landless and homeless.

These demolitions and evictions took place between 1968 and 2001, to give way to the following development projects:

. Jamhuri estate in 1968

. Otiende estate        1968 – 1979

. Salama and Fort Jesus     1963 – 1969

. Olympic estate  1968

. Ayany  estate  1977 – 1980

Persons displaced by development projects have special needs precisely because of their displacement. They may require special protection in cases where they are forcibly displaced without resettlement, compensation or respect for human rights. This is true whether they are in camps or merged into urban slums. This is true in the case of the displaced Nubians in Kibra.

Writing this article was never meant for making money. However,  the donation will help me cover my blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for the reforms of the marginalized minority, and engaging in community matters.

Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.   

 

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Nubians Kibra Life – Past and Present

 

In the 19th century, the British established the British East Africa territory which comprised the land which sits astride the equator, which is today’s Kenya.

English: A Ten Cent and One Cent British East ...
English: A Ten Cent and One Cent British East Africa piece from 1952(10) and 1924 (1). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be able to settle in these new found territories, the British brought with them soldiers from other parts of the world, which included soldiers from the Sudan. This was done to ensure their security. And these soldiers later fought alongside the British army in the first
se soldiers were a formidable force and and second world wars.
These Sudanese soldiers were the spine of the early British army in this part of the world.
The Sudanese soldiers mentioned above were the Nubians settled in a military reserve in Kibra, which is located on the outskirts of the city of Nairobi, after conscription from the British army.
The Kibra land was a gift to the Sudanese soldiers in recognition to their distinguished service.

What kind of life did the Nubians live?

The first Nubians who settled in Kibra lived a communal life similar to the medieval village life. A village life consisting of a population comprised mostly of farmers, houses, barns, sheds and animal pens, clustered around. This was surrounded by ploughed fields and pastures.
This village was a home for the Nubians. Most were born, toiled, married, had children and died within the village. Most rarely venturing beyond its boundaries.
The Nubians had their own language, dress code, cuisine, ceremonies, ( birth, circumcision, wedding, etc ), dances, arts and artifacts.
The typical Nubian house architecture featured four bedrooms, a visitor room, a large sitting room, with large windows overlooking flower/tree gardens on the outside. The kitchen was located on one side at the back, while the bathrooms and pit latrines were on the other.
The houses were built with poles and wooden planks and frames bought from forest owners around Kibra.
The roofs of the houses were made from flattened oil tins and oil drums, (typically 20 lt kerosene containers were used in those days).
The walls of these houses were made of mud, and cow dung collected from the livestock keepers around. The wall finishing was so smooth that it had the appearance of cement plaster. These walls were often patterned with flower paintings that made them very attractive. Some of those houses, over 90 years old, are still standing there today.
Vegetable gardens and farms for other crops and livestock were developed further away from the main house.

Recreational facilities.

Kibra had enough recreational facilities, particularly playing grounds for children. These grounds were also used for wedding ceremonies and other communal activities. For indoor activities a central hall was built in the centre of the village, which was also used as a cinema.

Post independence life.

Life in Kibra changed gradually after Kenya attained independence in 1963 from outside influences. New comers from outside Kibra for economic and political reasons. By 1980s and 1990s, the number of outsiders grew so big. The Nubians then became a small minority in the ratio 1 to 12.

Changes in sociocultural environment.

The big inflow of outsiders in Kibra had a bad effect. It is known that social and cultural influences cause changes in attitudes, beliefs, norms, customs and lifestyle. Inability of the Nubians in Kibra to foresee changes in these areas and react timely was devastating.

Challenge facing the Nubians.

The biggest challenge now facing the Nubians of Kibra is whether the government of Kenya will honor the promise of giving the Kibra land ownership documentation.


Writing this article was never about making money. However, the donation I plead for is to help me cover my blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for the reforms of the marginalized minority, and also in engaging in other community matters.

 Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.

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The Voice of the Marginalized People

Marginalized people of Kibra

Kibra is an area on the outskirt of Nairobi, the capitol city of Kenya. This piece of land, measuring approximately 4100 acres was a reward given to the Nubian soldiers by the then British colonial government. The Nubian soldiers fought alongside the British army from the 19th century up to the two world wars of 1914 and 1945.
Although the politics of this country has changed Kibra to what it is now, the largest slum in Africa. The Nubians who live in Kibra, which is their home, are now a small minority in the ratio of 1 to 12, after their land was invaded by outsiders brought in by selfish politicians.

The Nubians still cherish and have passion for Kibra, even with the faint hope of obtaining the land ownership document from the government. And even as the number of poor and excluded people among the community is increasing rapidly.

Expression of Passion for Kibra
1. We all know that there is a great ‘passion’ among our community for out Kibra. People love the ambiance, the natural setting, the country side, the history, the heritage and much mote. These feelings have unfortunately been largely destroyed by the politics of this country.
2. There is a strong sense of community. We ate proud of ourselves, our community organizations and our neighborhoods.
3. There is a sense of entrenchment. As people say, ‘we all love progress, it is the change we hate’.
4. Nonetheless, we recognize the opportunity in pursuing fresh ideas/ attitudes. There is a desire to create a new vision, plan for the future and coordinate efforts across the community.
5. Too much focus on issues and weaknesses. We need to promote our strengths among ourselves. Then we will be better able to present our strengths to visitors and others outside our community.
6. There are specific issues that are foremost in our minds:
a. To unite our people so that we speak from same voice.
b. To get the ownership documents for the Kibra land.
c. To protect our quality of life and address the well being of our people.
7. There are strengths to build upon in the community and opportunities to pursue:
a. Coordinating the talents and energies of our people to achieve a common vision.
b. To promote our arts, culture, recreation and leisure
c. Heritage.
d. Under utilized resources
e. Honesty.
8. Our people are knowledgeable, experienced and brimming with interesting and innovative ideas. The challenge is to make good use of these valuable resources.

Donation

Writing this article was never about making money. However, the small donation I plead for is for helping me cover blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for reforms of the marginalized minority,  and also engaging in other community matters.

Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.

 

 

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Access to New Media by Minority Groups

English: Professor Alex Jones (Harvard Kennedy...
English: Professor Alex Jones (Harvard Kennedy School) giving a lecture about the role of media in social change. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marginalized / minority groups are urged to use new technology to drive social change

The marginalized / minority tribes in Kenya, and indeed all over Africa and the World are urged to use the new technology to connect with people internationally to fight and drive away the social evil they are facing in the name of marginalization.

Through community forums these groups could use the technologies which include mobile platforms and the internet which can now be used for promoting democratic practices, civic participation, learning, and youth empowerment. Also can be used for economic and social entrepreneurship among other issues.

Empower young people

The communities should put more emphasis on young people who are particularly receptive to new technologies and adopt to its demands with clarity when given the chance.

Youth can use the technology to engage in human right activities.

 

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History of Kibra – The Home of the Marginalised Nubians

English: Kibera Slum in Nairobi Deutsch: Der S...
English: Kibera Slum in Nairobi Deutsch: Der Slum Kibera in Nairobi Polski: Kiberia – dzielnica slumsów w Nairobi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Facts about Kibra

Kibra is a village on the outskirt of Nairobi, (capital city of Kenya), about six kilometers from the city center. It is a home for the Nubian community whose forefathers were settled there by the then British colonial government after conscription from the army, the Kings African Rifles (KAR). Nubians originated from the northern Sudan.
Kibra Nubian village as it is known, came into being early last century, after the area was designated a military reserve for the demobilized KAR soldiers.
Kibra was already there when Nairobi was made a city in 1902. Kibra was registered in 1917/18, and survey map reproduced in 1934.
The official original area of Kibra was 1497.5 acres. This area has however been reduced to its current 600 or so acres by the successive governments employing the policy of marginalization, and land grabbing by corrupt government authorities and influential rich people.
Kibra Problems
Kibra lost its origin soon after independence. These problems were started by selfish politicians who wanted to keep control over their voters. The first change we saw in Kibra was the change of the name from Kibra to Kibera, the corrupted name adapted soon after independence. This was intentionally done to distort the history of the area.
Kibra is now a home to more than 500,000 people, a figure released by the civil society organizations. The national census done in the year 2009 put the figure at 250,000, this latter figure is largely believed to be a distorted figure.
Majority of the population are people who invaded the area for political or economic reasons. Cheap and affordable housing in the area made it attractive to people who earn low salaries, and at the same time politicians invited their supporters to gain voting power.
This great influx of people in Kibra made it to be the largest slum on Africa.
Challenges facing the Kenya Government.
Among the challenges facing the government and those who want to resolve the land question in Kibra are:
1. Competing rights between the Nubians, who settled in Kibra more than 100 years ago, even before Nairobi became a city, and migrants who have continuously been settling there since after independence.
2. Political competition between major tribes like the Luos and the Kikuyus. Each one trying to outnumber the other.
3. Economical interest of those who believe they have a right to the piece of land they have invaded: owning a land in Kibra is a bog deal, and they will use any means available to protect their interests.
Challenges facing the Nubian Community
1. Uncertainty about the government giving back the Kibra land to the Nubian community. This issue of Kibra land has been internationalized through media, Human Right bodies, and the African Court. But the government s still quiet.
2. The community has to continue keeping the government under pressure claiming their rights and internationalize the issue. Use international organizations and international law. Tickle the mind of decision makers.
3. The community must always remain united, unity is critical to delivering a clear message to the government.
4. Community must be organized.
5. The community must be sensitive to the unfulfilled promises given by the successive governments about the Kibra land. On the contrary, tensions were created between the Nubians and other communities, while the politicians from the major tribes incited their followers to violence.

Writing this article was never about making money. However, the small donation I plead for is for helping me cover blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for reforms of the marginalized minority,  and also engaging in other community matters.

Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.

 

 

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