Many of us simply take our homes for granted, barely giving them a second thought until something goes wrong. Millions of people across Africa, however, are living under the threat of forced evictions from governments or businesses keen to get their hands on valuable land. Amnesty International has been campaigning against forced evictions in Kenya for more than two years now and we’re delighted to be able to support them with the next stage of their work. Working in conjunction with Amnesty International UK and Amnesty International Kenya, we have awarded a grant of £16,000 to help them build a mapping website that will capture information about forced evictions of slum residents in Nairobi. It will be the first platform of its kind in Kenya and it’s hoped that the information collected will allow Amnesty to get a clearer overview of the scale of the problem and provide a compelling tool with which to lobby the Kenyan Government.
The project will use rapid response activists from slum communities to document and verify reports of forced evictions. These volunteer activists will be trained in how to use mobiles to collect data, testimonies, photos and video and how to submit them to the website. All of the evidence they collect will then be verified by site administrators to confirm its accuracy and detail before being uploaded to the site. In addition to the site, Amnesty are also working with slum residents on mobilisation activities to increase their awareness of housing rights and to build their capacity to hold the authorities to account.
As well as documenting (potential) incidents of forced evictions, this project will also benefit from Amnesty’s much larger Urgent Action network, to the 250,000 supporters subscribed to their e-communications programme and to their social media followers. As an organisation with an impressive track record of mobilising support around the globe, we’re particularly hopeful that this project will be able to build a groundswell of discontent – both within Kenya and internationally – to shed light on an endemic problem affecting millions of people, including Nairobi resident Joshua: