Kamukunji Environment Conservation Champions.
One of Inhabit Place’s more exiting adventures in 2021 was our expansion into Africa, working with the United Nations Global Public Space Programme to gain insights into the Kamukunji area of Nairobi, in Kenya. Our audit was managed by Josephat Karomi, the CEO of Kamukunji Environment Conservation Champions. We interviewed Josephat for an article on his experience, but his answers were so evocatively illustrative that we thought it would be better to publish them as is.
Q: Tell us about you
A: I was born in Kamukunji constituency, Pumwani ward Nairobi, in 1985. I now live in Pumwani ward, Majengo location, Kamukunji constituency. I am married and I have two children, a daughter and a son.
Tell us about your town, about how it makes you feel
It makes me feel so wonderful, its like waking up to paradise without actually going to heaven.
It feels like a community here, everybody is busy trying to make ends meet, so don’t get worried when you see everybody walking around you quickly, our area has the biggest open-air market in Kenya which literally means everything around you is moving.
Tell us about your work
I am a community champion/mentor/leader.
My work involves the mobilization of group members and general public, mentoring of young men and women within the community to become responsible members in the community they live in.
I do this with the Public Space Network, national and county government through their various social programs, village elders, NGOs, UN-HABITAT, Inhabit Place and various community-based organisations.
I love mentoring, encouraging and transforming people’s lives, it gives me pleasure to see that the little I did makes a big impact in someone’s life.
What is your favourite place
Kamukunji historical park.
What is your next goal
To study community development so that I can better help my community and those around us.
Tell us about your Inhabit Place experience
I was the coordinator of the group, supervising place audits data entry and ensuring that everyone was on site on time.
Who was on your team and how did you work together
Hussein Salim, Mohamed Kioko, Fatma Wanjiru, Mariam Juma, Dickson Shomba, Elijah Opiyo, Francis Mbithi. We worked togetherby listening to each other’s opinions and suggestions, respecting one another, having one team leader and focussing on the work at hand.
Did you see anything new as a result of taking part in the place audit
Yes. It helped us improve on our record keeping, there were things that were being asked which we didn’t have records of, which we later incorporated them. The app had modern features which can be used for taking data in any public space.
How do you think this place audit process will influence your work
The information given on the app helped us coming up with ideas on how to plan for our park and what we should do for the future.
What do you hope to change in your place
I look forward to making our place friendly for the disabled people; building ramps, ensure that the park is well lit in all areas and ensuring that the park has water throughout (a borehole would help).