Hundreds of SMS election microreports sent by Kenyan citizen journalists

Radar’s network of reporters from across Kenya have been texting in news from polling booths during the first Kenyan national election since the constitution was changed.

From the streets of Mombasa on the east coast to Kisumu on Kenya’s western border, the urban slum of Nairobi’s Kibera to the rural voting outposts of northern Turkana, Radar’s reporters shared events from their communities as the vote unfolded.

People with disabilities queue to vote - Nairobi

A disabled voter makes his way to the front of the queue in Kibera, Nairobi.

We received our first report at 4am East Africa Time (1am GMT) as the day dawned from a sleepy Simon Thiani who had already started queueing outside his Nairobi polling station. “We got here at 3am, some of us slept here,” he reported a voter called Kimani as saying.

Over the next 16 hours Radar received more than 200 SMS reports from polling stations across the country, as well as photos from mobile phones.

Limuru voting

A power outage in Limuru meant having to run the biometric voting equipment on batteries. “We’re giving privilege to the elderly and those with physical challenges. We want to make this a different experience altogether.”

The news included:

Radar’s reporters will be continuing to send in their news as the ballots are counted, in the hopes that the peaceful way the vast majority of the voting was carried out is maintained.

Stay tuned to our Twitter feed, Crowdmap and Tumblr blog for all the updates as they arrive! Radar thanks all our reporters for their hard work to bring the world this news, and all our partner agencies in Kenya for their support.


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