GIS in/for Kenya

I read this sto­ry on GIS ser­vices to be instal­led at the Poli­ce in Kenya (for crime tracking) and a conference/workshop that had been in held in Nai­ro­bi on this mat­ter, orga­ni­zed by ESRI (GIS soft­ware company).

Someo­ne was quo­ted as having said that all GIS ser­vices // data should be orga­ni­zed in a cen­tral data­ba­se and made avail­ab­le to anyo­ne who needs to work with it (free & against charges).

Ear­lier this week I star­ted working on some GIS maps for Kenya and com­bi­ning a pysi­cal map of a water catch­ment area with local attri­bu­tes (pover­ty figu­res, etc.). I do agree that such maps should be stored in a sin­gle data­ba­se so that all orga­ni­sa­ti­ons and inst­uti­ons in Kenya are using the same maps and should­n’t start com­ing up with their own home­brewn ver­si­ons. The­re’s no need for dou­ble work.

Ppl in Kenya know this and I am not the first per­son who had this idea. Yani, bet­ween having the idea and actual­ly main­tai­ning such a data­ba­se is a huge gap. Does anyo­ne know whe­re to obtain maps & figu­res for Kenya?

So far I have collec­ted data from the­se online resources:

Depha.org — Data Exchan­ge Plat­form For The Horn Of Afri­ca (good!!)

Geo­Commun­ni­ty (Kenya natio­nal data )

ILRI Kenya — Inter­na­tio­nal Live­stock Rese­arch Insti­tu­te (awe­so­me collection)

…and ano­t­her resour­ce I just can’t remem­ber right now…

While goog­ling for free gis data, I came across a work­shop that had been held recent­ly in Nbo and which show­ed that the top offi­cials of the Ministry/Authority I am cur­r­ent­ly working for had been offi­cial­ly infor­med on the pro­per use of GIS sys­tems. So.…these folks know about the advan­ta­ges and recei­ved pro­per trai­ning I wish I could have enjoy­ed as well. It seems that GISys­tems have been intro­du­ced many times in Kenya and still the­re is no cen­tral data­ba­se for such data. Or is there?

Which brings me to ano­t­her thing I wan­ted to men­ti­on: Like in any other coun­try, the­re are the ordi­na­ry wanain­chi on the streets and some very smart and intel­lec­tu­al peop­le that always impress me with their exact ana­ly­sis and under­stan­ding of cer­tain situa­tions. Social, poli­ti­cal, envi­ron­men­tal — you name it, they can exp­lain it — and even under a his­to­ri­cal con­text. Koi­gi isn’t the only frus­tra­ted intel­lec­tu­al out the­re, the­re are many others who qua­li­fy to sub­sti­tu­te even tho­se typi­cal 1970s uni­ver­si­ty dons (with their hat­red and aggre­ga­ted mzun­gu aggres­si­ons) and help build this country.

Well, you see, the rea­son I men­ti­on this nor­ma­li­ty which other­wi­se would imply some sort of con­temp­tuous­ness for the rest of the nati­on is that our for­mer landlord G.Kirima — to name at least someo­ne — used to be Depu­ty Major of Nai­ro­bi in 1974 ALTHOUGH he does­n’t even know how to wri­te his name. Now tha­t’s 32 years ago. And Kenya has chan­ged kabi­sa. The nati­on of drunkards, as some like to call it, also knows that a beer never goes without a sto­ry. The intel­lec­tu­al wit, this desi­re to get an under­stan­ding for the over­all con­text and mix ever­ything to a big pic­tu­re while at the same time kee­ping this time­li­ne and ana­ly­sing poli­ti­cal cir­cum­s­tan­ces with social deve­lo­p­ments — I think tha­t’s one of Ken­ya’s big­gest potentials.

Hap­py 144mio Kshs. Heroes Day!

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