Ushahidi.com

Last week, in between nightmares about where my country was going, I was dreaming of a Google Mashup to document incidents of violence, looting etc. that have occurred during the post-election crisis.

Today, Ushahidi is born.

The website was literally put together in 2 days and is a testament to the best of Kenya (who at the rate things are going will be yet another “skipped generation” …but I digress).

A couple of big thank yous.

Thank you to Apollo for stepping up and getting the domain and hosting going, you really helped kickstart this whole thing. Thank you Erick (Hash) for helping bring the rest of the crew on and for cheerleading. Thank you Daudi (Mental) for the finessing and for all the work you will be doing getting people on the ground to participate. Thank you Ashok for being my fixer since the website first crashed and for all your tips. Thank you to everyone who tolerated my pestering emails (I’m a good pesterer). And last but certainly not least – big big thank you to David Kobia for your technical wizardry and taking time out of your busy schedule to build something fantastic.

So what’s Ushahidi.com about… (for those who don’t know Kiswahili, ushahidi is the Swahili word for witness). The website was mainly set up to document incidents of violence, lotting etc. during the crisis (and soon to follow – information about ways to help on a micro-level). The website is still very much a work in progress and will be updated as we go along.

We believe that the number of deaths being reported by the government, police, and media is grossly underreported. We also don’t think we have a true picture of what is really going on – reports that all have us have heard from family and friends in affected areas suggests that things are much worse than what we have heard in the media.

We also (in my idealist world) hope that we can begin to put names and faces to the people who have lost their lives in this mess.

What’s the point of all this you might ask? Well, Kenyans have demonstrated their capacity for selective amnesia time and time again. When this crisis comes to an end, we don’t want what happened to be swept under the rug in the name of “moving forward” – for us to truly move forward, the truth of what happened needs to be told – Ushahidi ( www.ushahidi.com) is our small way of contributing to that.

We will be relying primarily on input from guys on the ground (NGOs, individuals, journalists), so please circulate this widely to your networks and help us witness.

To get a badge to show your online support for Ushahidi, click here.

Ushahidi - Report acts of violence in Kenya

24 comments to Ushahidi.com

  • Anna

    Ory,
    great invaluable job. Asante sana to you people. :lol:
    Have put info also on German blog “Kenyamany” http://www.jikozungu.com

  • A message for Upshaidi.com… Please, we have organized hundreds of people on the ground in a Pyramid of Peace by sending phone credits, especially to engage opposing tribes. Could you please set up this software for us to be able to show a “positive page” with all the people who have let us publicly post their telephones? and then the news of their needs and what they are finding? That would be so helpful. We are providing food, saving people from gangs, helping those who were robbed, entertaining the refugee children. Thank you so much and you can call Dennis Kimambo +254 722 388 275 in Nakuru or Kennedy Owino +254 723 568 251 in Nairobi or email me at ms@ms.lt Here is my latest letter http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mendenyo/message/1008 and some participants http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?KenyansToCall Peace, Andrius Kulikauskas, http://www.ms.lt, ms@ms.lt +370 699 30003

  • Man

    Ory, Folks,
    It is very disturbing to see the arrogance and reckless behavior exhibited by Kibaki. It makes me want to believe that it is not in a vacuum. It is not be unusual for some powerful foreign governments to give a double message, whereby they sound absolutely pro-democracy in one hand, but give their support in the dark to Kibaki for reasons best known to themselves. Kibaki knows he can’t afford to be arrogant against the west given his belief in the economic cooperation. He has sensed some backing from some powerhouse!
    MAN

  • This is a great idea. Thank you guys for taking the initiative to put it together. Is there a reason it is being limited to Kenya at the moment? Other countries need this sort of mashup, and it will have value long after Kenya’s crisis is resolved. Perhaps it will be possible to build a plugin for the various blogging platforms that enables bloggers to report these issues remotely, and include images if they have them.

  • Great initiative folks! I’m proud to be a Ushahidi supporter

  • Anna

    Ory, nimechoka!

    This madness has to stop! Lashing out our anger and frustration isn’t working. The killings and hatred neither.

    I am not Kikuyu but what’s happening to this community isn’t right. Out here I feel so helpless. It’s not easy to mobilise Kenyans in Germany.

    I would like to call on all Kikuyus to appeal to Kibaki to step down in order to stop this madness. Get active! march to State House and talk to him. Unite! don’t resign and accept this as your fate. It isn’t

    How many more must die. Kenya is your country and none of you have to die or be killed or deserve to die because of one man’s decision!

    This is NOT your fate. Stand up and fight. Yours is the only voice he will listen to. This hatred and madness has to stop!

    A bleeding heart in Germany

  • Have put call on all Kikuyus to appeal to Kibaki to step down as “discussion of the day” on blog http://www.jikozungu.com

    I’m looking forward to your comments.

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  • Hi! It seems as though we both have a interest for the same thing. Your blog, “” and mine are very similar. Have you ever thought about writing a guest article for a related blog? It is sure to help gain exposure to your website (my website recieves a lot of traffic). If you might be interested, contact me at: my mail. Appreciate it

  • Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  • Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any points for first-time blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

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