Kijiji Yeetu Blog

Connecting Scotland and Kenya Smart Village Models

Smart Village Scotland has been convinced that the Smart Village model can unlock the potential of rural Scotland. With the catastrophic impact of Covid-19 on people’s lives and livelihoods we know we are going to have to work harder and SMARTER when we hit the Recovery Period. A Smart Village will not be a panacea however it will help alongside other methods to help economies and communities recover. There are many uplifting elements of working on this project but one, in particular, has been connecting with like-minded individuals from across the world who are trying to bring about positive change through the Smart Village model. We have engaged with groups from Indonesia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden and across UK and Ireland. Recently connected with an amazing organization in Kenya- Kijiji Yeetu and asked them questions which we hope will help develop a knowledge transfer relationship:

SMART VILLAGES ARE THE NEXT BIG THING FOR KENYA: KIJIJI YEETU EXPERIENCE

We are developing a smart village ecosystem across Kenya for young people and women in small towns, villages, and communities. Kijiji Yeetu has been registered as an association to activate village resources, knowledge, and aspirations towards development and devolved governance in Kenya. However, not everyone is convinced – some local people wonder whether Kijiji Yeetu will really inspire change in the area. They hope to build an ecosystem for future generations of young people, women, and their families through smart villages in counties of Kenya and beyond Africa. This story will take a look into digital village champions, why it presented as an idea for this project, the vision for how it will impact the community, and how locals feel about how the development will affect them and affect the future of their villages.

Through Kijiji Yeetu, created with the help of United States International University-Africa, Internet Society Kenya Chapter, Kenya flying Labs, we joined COVID can inspire and share village stories, because their voices are needed more than ever today. The ongoing partnership is on the focus areas:

  1. Digital education (on-line school solutions, e-mentorship, digital library),
  2. E- Agriculture and trade (e-marketplace, online extension, digital economy),
  3. Elderly, women and youth (e-information portal, online advisory, soft skills and employability solution for non-technical persons, child online safety)

Current Societal challenges: Villages are experiencing huge agricultural losses due to limited agribusiness skills and marketing knowledge. Young girls and boys have dropped out of schools into drug addiction and alcoholism, criminal and extremism as a result of limited employment and business opportunities. Shockingly children are dying more in hospitals despite funding from county governments as a result of mismanagement. Communities have resorted to rumors and gossip due to limited access to information and scare internet facilities in the 21st Century era of digital transformation and computers being expensive. Government allocations for youth and women are inadequate to cater to their needs.

How do we disrupt their community engagement to reinforce village development? Thankfully young people and women quest to develop their villages and bring life and vibrancy back to the Kenya communities that have been viewed in a negative light for the past few years – helpful or harmful?

Why we chose Smart Village as a vehicle: For most targeted beneficiaries, their fate has been tied to local village domestic work, vending in the marketplace or seeking handouts. The even bleaker alternative being early marriage, a life of crime, susceptibility to extremist radicalization and the incapability to escape the cycle of poverty.

Kijiji Yeetu is trying to change this, one village at a time, with a digital village champion. The 50 digital village champions are community leaders being trained on digital transformation and social development, we feel each one has a unique and special story. We don’t take the champions without knowing what homes they come from, we follow up go to their homes. The trips we have taken all the way to Machakos, Gem, Ugunja, Machakos, Kakuma, Kegogi villages among others to be visited in different parts of the country. This initiative started documenting experiences and achievements from the villages to disseminate to right forums, present community proposals to county government, engage in public education and identify potential partners who can directly support the project.

The world is undergoing tremendous shifts with the emergence of COVID-19, partnerships are key to achievements and experiences in achieving smart villages in the 21st century.

Mikunduni Village

Victor Ngama, a 58 year old man in Tana River County is making waves in the county's telecommunication industry having set up a mobile radio station, which he broadcasts off his boda boda. In the past, he has captured the former President Moi's attention  when he invented a water-powered clock in the 1990s.

Watch this story here

Mikunduni Village

Taita-Taveta County, Kenya

Segera Village

 On 21st September 2019, 12 women from theMaasai Community beat all odds and  graduated as wildlife rangers at Segera Conservancy after six months of extensive training in different wildlife reserves. According to the Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala,  the team will be the first only-female rangers in Kenya and East Africa in this male-dominated career.

Read more about this story here

Segera Village

Laikipia County, Kenya

Tumbe village

In the 1960's , Tumbe village was home to thousands of lepers who sought refuge and treatment from a medical centre that was trying to eradicate the disease. Sadly today, nearly all of the village's residents are disfigured, elderly, living with disability and burdened by biting poverty and lingering discrimination.

Read more about this story here

Tumbe village

Kwale County, Kenya

Township

Mohamed Noor Jimale, a standard eight pupil at Furaha Pri School in Kenya's border town of Wajir is attracting the attention of people in his village after he invented an electronic toy plane. He has a passion for making electronic toys and he hopes to become an engineer in the future.

Watch his story here

Township

Wajir, Kenya

Kegogi Village

In Kegogi village, Centre for Community Mobilization and Empowerment (CECOME) engaged men to be integral partners in Ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence Campaign in the communities.The root causes of gender-based violence lies in unequal power relations between women and men. Variety of factors on the individual level, the family level and at the level of the community and society, often combine to raise the likelihood of violence occurring.

Kegogi Village

Kisii County, Kenya

Lunza

A group of pupils at Lunza Primary School in Butere, Kakamega County, are keen on setting a good example to villagers on the diverse crops they can grow in an area dominated by sugar cane and maize. The 4K Club members have planted tomatoes in a greenhouse where they are flourishing, giving residents a glimpse of how the crop can perform. And in an open field, maize, orange-flesh sweet potatoes, sunflower, Nerica (upland) rice, sorghum, fodder and indigenous vegetables are flourishing.

Read more about this story here

Lunza

Butere, Kenya

Kaksingri Village

At Kaksingri Village in Mbita, the Development Knowledge Link Africa- DEVLINK is at the forfront of transformation and empowerment of women in the community. The women are involved in African Design bags and clothes among other artistic works and enterpreneurial activities.

Kaksingri Village

Mbita, Kenya

Thingira village

Thingira village in Kirinyaga County is a multicultural home of living memories and traditional lifestyles of the communities living around Mt.Kenya region

Thingira village

Kirinyaga County, Kenya

Basuba village

On 4th Sept 2019, Multi-agency Security Officers operating in Boni Forest, Lamu County conducted a medical outreach at Basuba village in Lamu County following local leadership request for medical aid to an ailing child. The medical outreach offered preventive and curative drugs.

Basuba village

Lamu County, Kenya

Kibera

Residents of Kibera decided to to pave a long road with the hope that it will help fire fighters in the future. This was after the latest fire accident.

Kibera

Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

Mihuti Village

From experimenting with bicycle dynamo while in primary school, to eventually using  a generator to produce 240 volts, John Magiro is a celebrated individual in Mihuti Village,Murang'a County  who lit up the village long before Kenya Power came.

Read more about John Magiro here

Mihuti Village

Njumbi, Kenya

Eastleigh

Traffic in Nairobi is so bad that most road users have accepted it. Depending on where you live, if you want to get to the Central Business District (CBD) by 8am, you need to live the house at around 6.30am. This mostly applies to residents of Nairobi’s Eastlands area (Umoja, Buruburu, Donholm, Komarock).

One Kenyan only identified as Mwangi, devised a way to help matatu drivers beat the morning traffic and maximize on sales. At a fee of Sh100 per vehicle, Mwangi helps to guide drivers in the morning by giving them a heads-up on the least congested route which saves them lots of time.

Read more about Mwangi here

Eastleigh

Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya

Barki Village

This is Not Singapore! This is in Barki Village, Raya Location in Garissa County, 15 Kilometers away from Garissa Town.Here, you will find the biggest solar farm in Eastern and Central Africa. The 55MW solar plant sits on 85 hectares in the Village. It is fully operational and already connected to the national grid.

Barki Village

Garissa, Kenya

Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy

At the ‘singing wells of Namunyak’ , Kenya’s Samburu hersdsmen sing love songs to their cows, discuss village matters, and dance with their partners.

Read more about these heardsmen here

Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy

Samburu County, Kenya

Lamu Island

The traditional dhow is made from wood, but an ambitious new project is making waves in the waters of East Africa.

Dubbed the FlipFlopi Project, the rainbow-colored dhow, is 9 meters long and made from discarded plastics picked up during regular clean-ups of the ocean. The boat was built on Lamu island in its entirety by Ali Skanda, the chief boat builder who also works as a project leader alongside Pabari, and a crew of volunteer crew members.

According to Pabari, the FlipFlopi Project aims to engage and raise awareness to local communities along the route on the dangers of single-use plastics and to teach them how to recycle their plastic

Read more about the FlipFlopi Project here

Lamu Island

Lamu, Kenya

Umoja Village

Umoja village in Kenya consists of only women who are ex-victims of child marriage, abuse, domestic violence and more. The village was started in 1990 by 15 women who became stigmatized in their communities after they were raped by British soldiers from a base at nearby Archer's Post, a trading center bordering Samburu and Isiolo.

Read more about this village here

 

Umoja Village

Samburu County, Kenya

Kaganda Village

Nicholas Muchami, a 45-year-old man from Kaganda village in Kiharu Constituency, Murang’a County has earned himself the tittle of “village hero” after he volunteered to singlehandedly turn a bushy, hilly area into a one-kilometre road. This was in a bid to  connect the locals to Kaganda shopping centre after the one they were using was blocked by the land owner who said they were trespassing on his farm and threatened to take an unspecified action if the locals continued passing through his property. 

Read more about this story here

Kaganda Village

Muranga County, Kenya

Thumaita Village

 

In Thumaita Village Kirinyaga county sits water well with soda-like taste called "Munyu". The villagers say "Munyu" can cure some diseases.

Thumaita Village

Kirinyaga County, Kenya

Sigotich village

Located on the Mau escarpment, Njoro River Cave was first excavated in 1938 by Mary Leakey and her husband Dr Louis Leakey, who unearthed a mass cremation site for settling pastoralist communities during the Neolithic period Historic. Now the place has been established as a Pilgrimage Site. The land where the cave is located belonged to the Dorobo, a hunter-gatherer community.

Read more bout this historical site here

Sigotich village

Narok County, Kenya

Nderi Village

In Nderi village, Kikuyu constituency, a Devolved Village Film Concept epitomizes the importance of vibrant film industry in Kenya. This can translate to more job opportunities and revenue for the youth.

Nderi Village

Kikuyu, Kenya

Kiangwe Village

Basuba ward residents have reason to be happy after the opening of a Sh7 million health centre at Kiangwe village six years since terrorists torched their dispensaries. The residents have been without a medical facility since 2014 when al Shabaab militants looted, vandalised and torched their dispensaries.

The health centre will serve the over 3,000 residents from the Boni villages of Kiangwe, Basuba, Mangai, Mararani and Milimani.

Kiangwe Village

Lamu County, Kenya

Physical Address

Bishop Magua, 4th Floor
Ngong Road
Nairobi, Kenya

 

Contacts

Email: info@Kijijiyeetu.co.ke
Phone: +254(0) 720975498
Website: www.kijijiyeetu.co.ke 

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