Education

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A4T Mtaani – Radio interview at Mtaani FM

mtaani fm

A4T team Abraham Mariita and Samuel Komu were invited to breakfast show at Mtaani Radio, a community radio station located in Dagoretti area in Nairobi. The duo discussed the importance of promoting accountability and transparency in use of public funds. They got an opportunity to speak to listeners about the A4T App and how to use it. The show was live on 12th July 2018.

Click below to play the audio clip.

 

Mtaani radio broadcasts to an estimated population of 240,080 residents in Dagoretti South –Mutuini, Ngando, Riruta, Waithaka, Uthiru And Ruthimitu. Dagoretti North – Kilimani, Kawangware, Muthangari, Kileleshwa and Kabiro. Thank you for hosting us Kamadi Amata, Kevin Nyangweso and the Mtaani radio crew.

Follow Mtaani radio www.mtaaniradio.or.ke  www.facebook.com/mtaaniradio

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Corruption in Embakasi South National Government Constituency Development Fund

Mukuru Kwa Njenga Primary

A4T investigative journalist grantee, Daniel Muteti of Reuben FM, narrates in his investigative story, how the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) in Embakasi South Constituency has been involved in misappropriation of funds meant for various development for schools.

Listen to the story below.

 

This story was broadcasted at Reuben FM, a community radio station based in Mukuru Kwa Reuben Slums. http://www.rubencentre.org/index.php/register/advocacy-networking/radio-ruben-fm

 

 

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#A4TMtaani – Roadshow in Embakasi

Kaa Rada Komesha Ufisadi

The A4T team was in Embakasi West and Central constituencies on the  14th July 2018, for a day long roadshow. The roadshow was aimed at informing and empowering citizens in Embakasi to participate in governance processes of public funds in health and education, and to report suspected corruption through the Action for Transparency mobile App.

The procession started at Kangundo Road to Umoja estate where a first stop was made. Then later stopped at Tena Estate, Donholm, Mama Lucy Hospital, Komarock estate and Kayole.

 

During the stops, the MC briefed the participants about the roadshow, sensitising them on the importance of participating in budgetary processes and reporting corruption, while the A4T team, passed out fliers with brief information about the project and instructions on how to download the A4T App. The procession was marked with dance and performances by Wasanii Kibao youth group from Kariobangi area. The team also connected participants to internet WIFI in order to help interested members of the public download the A4T mobile App.

Wasanii Sanaa Youth group from Kibera, presented a captivating play about the effects of corruption and advocated for active participation of citizens to report corruption.

 

At Kayole II community hall, the team had extensive time engaging and entertaining the residents about the A4T APP, 43 participants download the App. See more photos Here.

The team will be planning more outreach activities in other parts of Nairobi in coming months.

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Community Media Forum

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In the recent weeks, albeit months, the country has witnessed a record number of serious corruption related scandals in the country. In nearly all the news channels, corruption has been the major theme. The proceedings, blame games and mysteries reported about corruption have become a norm of what is todays’ Kenyan media coverage. If Kenyans are not angry by now, probably they will never be.

Citizens are critical allies in the fight against corruption. At the heart of communities in Nairobi, lies avenues for citizens to access information that is simple, relevant and beneficial to them.  As a watchdog, the media plays an important role in ensuring that the country’s resources are well utilised.  Community media streams in particular, has an important role in educating their audience about national agendas that affect them. Among these, is the runaway corruption. It is encouraging how the media has sustained the campaign on corruption by consistently highlighting corruption scandals in the country. However, we can do more.

Action for Transparency team held a media forum on 28th June 2018 with journalists and members of community media organisations in Nairobi to discuss and share experiences on how community media can amplify community voices in the fight against corruption in Kenya.

Discussion

  • How can the community media keep the anti-corruption campaign alive?
  • How can we help communities participate in this discourse?
  • What is the role of community media towards amplifying community voices?
  • How can community media break down effects of corruption to the general public?
  • What are the ways in which journalists can represent community voices/interests? (Public Interest

The forum was attended by 32 participants. The panelists included: Tom Mboya – Koch FM, Alex Ikambi – Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET), Kevin Mabonga – TI-Kenya and Abraham Mariita as the moderator.

Amongst the issues raised was that community media should break down the cost of corruption to what is easily relatable or understood by their audience. Tom Mboya agreed with Kevin Mabonga that journalists should breakdown the cost of corruption by equating equivalence of the money lost, vis-a-vis what it could do for the citizen.

Community media should also utilise their intimate relationship with their audience in order to cultivate feedback in regards to expressing their views about transparency and accountability issues.

 

Alex Ikambi asked the participants to ensure that they go down to the community and find out if a reported issue of corruption has been resolved.

Some journalists present, asked for capacity building opportunities for journalists in community media in order to enable them tackle the issues of corruption better. In addition, it was suggested that TI-Kenya and other organisations should partner with the community media to organise public forums.

Michael from Mtaani radio asked participants from other community radios to think of other avenues that can help amplify community voices in unison, like coming up with a newspaper to publish stories.

Notably, two community radio stations have been on the forefront in empowering their audience to fight corruption. Koch Fm held a Community Accountability Forum, that brought together members of Korogocho area, community and political leaders in order to keep an account of the developmental aspects of that area. On the other hand, Ghetto FM has stated a project called Follow The Money in partnership with a Nigerian organisation, to educate and empower their audience to track expenditure of public funds.

The engagements with community media will be on-going, including participating together in forums and fostering synergies that will help empower citizens across the County.

View more photos of this event here.

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Urgent Action Needed to Save Ngunyumu Primary School

Ngunyumu Primary School

As soon as you step into the vicinity of Ngunyumu Primary School, a stench odour hits you, making you doubt if you are in a learning institution. This is Korogocho slum, home to an estimated 150,000 people, according to the 2009 census. It sits next to the popular Dandora dumpsite. Ngunyumu primary school has a population of 850 pupils. It is one of the only two public primary schools in the area the other one being Daniel Komboni primary school.

The 30-year-old Dandora dumpsite has been growing and encroaching the school in the last couple of years. Its effects, clearly visible and “smell-able”. Pupils at the institution play at the crowded playground, unaware of dangers surrounding them. This, the opposite of a favourable environment for learning.

Along the schools dilapidated fence, assorted garbage in form of papers and other light materials, have found refuge after being blown by wind from the dumpsite. In addition, garbage rummagers are camping outside the school’s compound to sort out their collection for re-usable items, which they sell at the spot, and what is invaluable is thrown over the fence into the school’s compound. The iron sheets covering the classrooms are brown and rotting.

Health Hazards

Dahabo Guyo, a member of Ngunyumu’s Board of Management (BOM), fervently expresses her disgust about the foul odour in the school. It has been facing dangerous health hazards from the dumpsite, including being filled with toxic smoke. “The health of the pupils and teachers in the school is affected by this dumpsite and there is no one to help us”, says Dahabo.

The BOM member has been active in advocating for the relocation of a section of the dumpsite near the school in order to provide a conducive environment for pupils to learn. It has been a tall order yet dangerous affair, as we came to learn.

Kevin (not the real name), a school teacher, who spoke on anonymity, said that efforts to address the effects of the dumpsite have resulted to threats and intimidation from people believed to be beneficiaries of the dumpsite. “One time the school was entirely filled with smoke from the smouldering garbage, it was all over including inside the classes. You could barely see beyond ten meters,” said Kevin. “Together with other teachers, we decided to walk to the dumpsite to see if we could salvage the situation, but we were chased away by some youths who claimed that we were interfering with their livelihoods,” he added.

It is alleged that the youths were allocated a piece of land next to the dumpsite that used to be an abandoned quarry by area Member of County Assembly after the 2013 elections. Currently, each 20-ton dump truck that empties its contents at the site is charged Ksh. 500 on each trip. Every single day, more than 2,000 metric tons of waste is dumped in Dandora.

“Other than the foraging and recycling by individuals and families living in the dump, this is a multi-million shillings business, that is connected to cartels and politicians,” lamented Kevin. “It is a fight we have given up on, because we fear for our lives,” he added.

Threats

In-spite of the threats and perceived fear, Ms. Guyo, has continued to highlight the plight of pupils in Ngunyumo primary school. Pupils and teachers have often been absent due to falling ill out of the effects of the dumpsite. “When I was posted to Ngunyumu, my health was perfect. But since then, I have been in and out of hospital due to the bad air in this area. I have even sought for a transfer from this school,” complained another teacher

“We are glad that since it started raining, there has not been smoke,” said Kevin, “When there is rain, the fires are extinguished and there is no smoke”. Mr. Kevin added that the dumpsite has promoted increase in the number of school dropouts who usually end up in the dump to forage. Drugs and early pregnancy are other unintended consequences of the dumpsite that the school has had to deal with over the years.

Sustainable development goal 4 recommends basic education to be accessible, inclusive, equitable and quality to all including children in urban centers. According to the free primary education programme, every pupil in a public primary school is allocated Ksh. 1,400 per year. This is the total amount for all the needs including learning materials and development cost.

The school lacks a proper perimeter wall and security. Dealing with the effects of the garbage including provision of water and sanitation to the pupils is a cost the school has to grapple with. Even with all these challenges the pupils are still expected to compete with other learners from across the county with favourable conditions.

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Unearthing the sanitation crisis within Nairobi’s public schools

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A4T grantee Sarah Nanjala reveals critical sanitation crisis in Nairobi’s public primary Schools. Sarah is one of the journalists trained in investigative and data journalism at the United States International University (USIU) and later  got an A4T grant and mentorship award.

The bell rings. Break time is over. A Standard Three girl carefully, but quickly, makes her way through the flooded entrance to a toilet. At least 50 other girls are with her.

The girls squeeze into the few toilets, with the older ones jostling the younger ones out of the way. They then wrinkle their noses in disgust and walk away. This is the everyday life of pupils in Nairobi public schRead Sarah’s report published on today’s Star Newspaper here.

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#STOPtheseThieves – Demo against Corruption

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In recent days, the media informed by audit reports uncovered cases of blatant corruption within government departments and agencies including the National Youth Service where up to Kshs. 9 Billion is reported to have been illegally paid out to fictitious suppliers; the National Cereals and Produce Board paid huge sums of money to suppliers not accredited; Reports from the Office of the Auditor General indicating mismanagement of public funds within various government departments including the Health and Education departments.

Transparency International Kenya through Actin for Transparency in partnership with Kenya Human Rights Commission, Buyer Beware and other organisations planned a demonstration against the blatant runaway corruption in government to raise the voice of citizens in demanding for action.

The demonstration was dubbed #STOPtheseThieves and was held on 31st of May 2018, at the Uhuru Park grounds, with a demonstration through Kenyatta Avenue, Kimathi Street, Moi avenue, City Hall way, Parliament road and to Haile Selassie rd.

The demo attracted participants in hundreds, who were involved in displaying placards that displayed different messages in detest of the recent corruption scandals and inept by government authorities to take any action. Protestors walked, danced, sang and others chose to scream, while cameras from local and international journalists clicked away in the over 3 hours activity. Organisations represented gave speeches periodically and made calls to other onlookers to participate in the picketing. A petition was read when the crowd arrived at the judiciary, asking the courts to ensure prosecution of the corruption suspects, with hefty fines and punishment.

When TI-Kenya organised an inaugural Integrity Walk in December 2017, a contingent of policemen armed with clubs, tear gas canisters and guns, surrounded the Freedom Corner Park (start venue) with an order to stop us from proceeding with the walk. It was shock and awe, that a peaceful walk, a symbol of citizens stand on accountability and transparency issues, was invaded and stopped with such impunity. A year earlier, a demo against the loss of 5 billion shillings at the Ministry of health, was thwarted with violence and brutality to the participants and without any mercy to the journalists covering it.
It was therefore a great achievement to have had many participants in this peaceful demo with escort from policemen. Perhaps an indication that the police and their authorities are appreciating the right of citizens according to the constitution of Kenya, Chapter 3 Article 37, to peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to demonstrate petitions to public authority.

During the celebration and commemoration of the Madaraka (Independence) day on June 1 2018, president Uhuru Kenyatta gave a rather tough and firm statement about non-tolerance to corruption in his government. He declared that corruption in all its forms will be diminished from our country, adding that his governments’ raft of measures to tackle corruption, include an initial step for all Heads of Procurement and Accounts in Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals to undergo fresh vetting, including polygraph testing, to determine their integrity and suitability by beginning of July 2018 and those who shall fail the vetting will stand suspended. Unlike his previous speeches, during previous national events – where he once asked Kenyans, “Mnataka nifanye nini?” (What do you want me to do?) – president Uhuru had never talked this tough on fighting corruption. We hope that this will translate to action.

So far, over 40 suspects have been arraigned in court and held without bail, with more expected to be charged according to the Directorate of the Criminal Investigations.  The recovery of assets from those accused of corruption must also be given priority. See more photos here.

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Media Forum on Access to Information Act

Access to Information Poster-01

We recently organised a Media Forum to discuss how the Access to Information Act can benefit journalists and citizens. The forum that was held at a local hotel, was attended by 29 journalists who participated in discussing Freedom of expression, where the media is grounded, as an important aspect for journalists to be involved in.

The panelists who led the great discussion included:

  • Erick Mugendi – Managing Editor PesaCheck, an initiative of code for Africa/ Builds tools for citizens to help citizens track budgets. Try to connect the big numbers with the people.
  • Christine Nguku – Vice Chairperson Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK), Secretary Kenya Editors Guild.
  • Winnie Tallam – Senior Legal Officer – Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) The body that is also mandated to ensure implementation of the Access to Information law.
  • Sheila Masinde – Programmes Manager Transparency International Kenya.
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A4T Twitterthon at Kenyatta University Parklands Campus

Kenyatta University Twitterthon

We recently held a Twitterthon on 18th April 2018, at Kenyatta University, Parklands Campus, in partnership with Kenyatta University Students Association – thank you guys!

The exciting and informative 2 hours at the KU campus hall was aimed at involving the youth in the fight against corruption and creating awareness among them on issues of accountability within the Education and Health Sectors.

Thanks to the students who were present, over 2,500! tweets were posted about the A4T App, its features, usability and usefulness in advancing transparency and tracking budgetary expenditure and to report corruption through the App.

View more photos here.
You can download the App on Google Play Store and on Apple App Store.

 

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Govt to effect full free day secondary learning in January

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The government has scrapped the Sh9,374 school fees which each student in public secondary schools has been paying per year, paving way for complete free day secondary education starting January 2018.

Announcing the new directive in a circular on guidelines for the implementation of free day secondary school education, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said that the government will pay the subsidy.

Read more on Daily Nation.

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