The NYS Story – From the ground, reporting as We saw and heard from the residents with my four friends – The Real story.
Part 2: One of the interesting things we established in Kibera was the interconnectivity of the projects and how the community was aware of the issues facing them and the completed projects.
They were however clear NYS had done its job.
We arrived in Kibera in a matatu and after assigning ourselves duties as prescribed in Part 1 we begun compiling our story.
I must warn that this is not a post that says all is good, there are some weaknesses and we point them out in the following narration. Take note of the many strengths and the weaknesses identified too.
1. Posho Mills – It is simply not true that all Posho Mills are not working. But even before that. Let me explain something here from what we gathered on the ground. There are 9 Posho Mills already constructed. Five are operational. Four are not and we managed to get to two such already constructed Posho mills.
Why are they not working? Kenya Power is in the process of fixing three phase power lines to sustain the running of the Posho Mills.
One crucial factor we learnt is that the youth of Kibera and Mathare own the Posho Mills through Youth Saccos. 30% of the profit they make is automatically saved in a Sacco
It is instructive to note another interesting finding, the Youth through their sacks again run ablution blocs, and like in the case of Posho Mills they save 30% of the cash.
Those we spoke to explained that the Ablution blocs, just like the Posho Mills, had an initial problem, because despite NYS doing their job, Nairobi water took time to supply water, the issue was resolved recently after persistent pressure from the community and the Ministry of Devolution too.
Kibera one youth manager at the venue told us has 96 ablution blocs already completed and another 56 are already being added and are at the plastering and tilling stage which will be done by end of this month according to the youth already working on the project.
“Hii project imeficha aibu. kila siku watu walituambia watajenga, lakini haijawahi jengwa, tunashukuru NYS sana, hata maji ikipotea wanatuletea maji….Mungu abariki hawa…” One middle aged woman who had just finished doing her laundry told one of us.
Due to a story carried in one of the dailies we also had a chance to visit 3 Police posts in Kibera, we were told there exists 7 Police Stations in total from the NYS project.
WE established that four are operational in Soweto, Silanga and two in Kinada Village.
At the time we left the other three were awaiting deployment of officers to man the stations. Kindly note that NYS had done their job of delivering the project, it was only awaiting a procedural step.
We only managed to visit 2 Clinics, but residents told us there were 9 clinics constructed and that 8 were already operating.
In one of the busiest clinics according to locals, we listened to partients and relatives expressing their relief and even though two complained there were less staff they maintained that at least some action had ben taken.
To be faithful to facts, we established that One of the clinics was not operational and that two of them were operating below par because the County Government was yet to deploy staff to the clinics.
There is then a Fish Ponds project in Kibera an interesting perspective to the whole project is that NYS was encouraging food security as an income generating project.
In Mathare we found that instead of Fish ponds the youth were doing poultry projects.
Before I tell you of the lesson we learnt on that I need to tell you of two aspects of the Kibera and Mathare story that you have not read from your local dailies.
There is something the youth there have nicknamed Project Kujipanga, they are referring to Livelihood projects -Income generating projects.
The most progressive of those that we interacted with was Urban Agriculture, where they plant vegetables on sacks and sell to Huduma Kitchens that has employed several Women Groups, who in turn process the cabbages and succumb to food and sell to those engaged in construction and homesteads therefore creating a serious value chain.
It is those youths that are the most saddened by the events of last night. They are not only participating in a transformation, they are also engaged actively, are making an income and are saving so as to invest in their future.
This is not fiction, it is the reality as it unfolds every sunrise and sunset in Kibera and Mathare and the tens of locations we were not able to visit.
However we managed to speak to various Officials at the helm of the Devolution ministry and in Part 3 – that follows later today – we will table a Fact Sheet.
The Fact sheet will answer all the questions, expose all the unfortunate spin on this matter and at the end the Truth of the impact ofâ€ª#â€ŽYouthEmpowermentKEâ€¬ agenda will be very clear to all to see and understand.
I repeat here, that I support Nigerian Novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who warns that there is a serious danger of the Single Story – Most often it is not true.
Desktop Journalism and keyboard activism has turned many half truths to believable narratives, but both modern day styles of communication will never achieve one thing change Facts.
Facts are stubborn. Facts do not change because we disagree with them. Truth remains just that Truth.
NYS – True to Self. True to Country.
PART 3 – THE FACT SHEETS will be coming up next. (NB: It will shock you how much you do not know about a transformation happening in every part of this country driven by NYS)