Kenya: reports from crisis, by Kenyans - Ushahidi.


Ushahidi is a website created to give Kenyans a way to report incidents of violence in the ongoing post-election crisis. The project came together, it seems, during the TED Global conference event earlier this year in Tanzania. Erik Hersman, who publishes Afrigadget and was one Ushahidi's organizers, tells us more about who's behind it:

Ory Okolloh - Was the nexus-point of information for news during and after the elections in Kenya as the mainstream media went quiet. Ory was also the genesis of Ushahidi as she opined in one blog post, "Google Earth supposedly shows in great detail where the damage is being done on the ground. It occurs to me that it will be useful to keep a record of this, if one is thinking long-term. For the reconciliation process to occur at the local level the truth of what happened will first have to come out. Guys looking to do something - any techies out there willing to do a mashup of where the violence and destruction is occurring using Google Maps?"

Daudi Were - Has been blogging and working to hold together a disparate group of 400 bloggers in the Kenyan Bloggers Webring. He is working full-time on two initiatives. First, to create strong partnerships for Ushahidi through the Kenyan NGO Council. Secondly, to create easy ways for people to donate to the Kenyan Red Cross.

Juliana Chebet - Being upcountry during elections gave her a unique view of the post-election aftermath. Also a blogger, she has been busy taking pictures and video, and chronicling what she sees. Juliana has also been a part of making Ushahidi, primarily in putting new reports into the system.

Segeni Ng'ethe - Owner of Mamamikes.com. As people have had a hard time getting cash and an even harder time trying to find cell phone charge cards, Segeni has been providing one of the only ways for people to send money from abroad and recharge people's cell phones. On top of that, he has created a voucher system that allows anyone in the world to donate money directly for distribution and use by the Kenyan Red Cross.

Link. Over at Global Voices, contributor Juliana Rincón Parra has this roundup of online video that provides a glimpse into the current state of affairs in Kenya, including first-person testimonies of violence recorded and published by Ushahidi participants: Link. More coverage of the crisis in Kenya on Global Voices here. (thanks, Emeka Okafor!)

Previously on BB:

  • Video from TED Global conference - Africa: The Next Chapter
  • Deconstructing Vanity Fair's "Africa" issue