Rivers and People is a collaborative project to prototype tools for data collection and communication around flooding and other risks in Kibera. By working with residents to gather and share both “hard data” and stories, the goal is to build resilience and create a community voice too loud to ignore.
In Kibera, where seasonal flooding regularly destroys livelihoods, there are few reliable ways for residents to receive and communicate information on flood risk.
At the same time, institutional actors are largely unaware of the extent and complexity of the risks facing residents, which stalls productive action to mitigate flooding.
As part of the Amplify program, KDI and IDEO.org worked alongside residents to prototype different forms of risk information dissemination, with government partners joining in the process.
These included physical communication prototypes at the Kibera Public Space Project sites, allowing us to investigate how public spaces can be used as hubs for information sharing and building community resilience through common identities.
The communication methods included exhibitions, storytelling, murals, mapping, flood markers, and social media to inform decisions, provide early warnings, and educate children about flooding.
We are now examining how the spaces that make up the KPSP Network can be used as hubs for sharing information and building community resilience through common identities. This involves working with residents to develop branding for each KPSP site and corresponding community group, thereby enhancing the social safety net that creates resilience and a strong community voice.
The prototyping process has strengthened the impact and identity of the KPSP sites while enhancing communication and collaboration between community members and the City.
As well as laying the foundation for more effective decision-making and ultimately, increased flood resilience, the project has enabled KDI to identify future sites and partners for the KPSP network.