The power of music

One of the mini-projects conducted as part of the AIR Network focused on “Engaging with Industry” – trying to highlight the relationship between Mukuru residents, the neighbouring industrial area on which so many residents depend for their livelihoods, and the pollution that this industry produces. The Engaging with Industry team included rapper Rafat, and together with Mukuru Kings and Suby he made a song called Mazingira, highlighting the issue of air pollution. The video features footage of the Hood2Hood festival, attended by over 1,500 Mukuru residents in September 2018.

Thanks to Mukuru Kings, Suby, and to Cressida Bowyer of University of Portsmouth for leading the Engaging with Industry team!




Digital stories

Megan, one of our researchers on the project, described on this blog the process of creating digital stories, and shared Dennis Waweru’s digital story.

We also created a few other digital stories about air pollution. This is from Jared Omae, an activist and Mukuru resident:

This was filmed by Peris Saleh, directed by Omae Jared and the opening music was composed and performed by KO.

Ngugi Waweru, a painter, Mukuru resident and member of the AIR Network team was also filmed talking about the project and his experiences of air pollution.

This was filmed by Omae Jared and Peris Saleh, directed by Omae Jared, photographs were by Dennis Weche and the opening music was composed and performed by KO.

Thanks to them all for sharing their stories.


Hood 2 Hood this Sunday

Hood2Hood event in Mukuru 16th of September 11am – 5pm

We want to celebrate and communicate the research carried out by The AIR Network team. We want to let the community and the wider world know about what has been taking place up to now and get feedback on what we have done and plan to do next.

We will be running the event in Rueben stadium on Sunday 11am – 5pm.

Here is some of what will be going on:

Display of the AIR Network maps

Creating murals to illustrate project findings

Story-telling events

An exhibition of work by local school children to describe their experiences of air pollution

Live performances of songs created by Mukuru musicians especially for the AIR Network

Live interactive theatre performances and group games

Face painting and clowns

Opportunities for group discussions about the project, what to do next and how to take forward community-driven ideas for solutions to the problem of local air pollution

DJs, MCs, singing and dancing

Please come and join us!!

The story behind the logo, by Jared Omae

In this blog, Mukuru resident and designer of the AIR Network logo Jared Omae talks us through his design:

AIR logo V2

“The green colour represents the environment and nature of our community. The yellow colour represents the nature of our slums – this means that everything in Mukuru has been polluted – starting from the air, water, drainage and natural resources, these are yellow.

At the bottom are the industries that pollute the environment and the air we breathe, and a charcoal stove that pollutes the air inside the houses as people prepare food.”

Jared can be followed on twitter: @omaemukuru.

Participatory mapping in Mukuru

We’ve got loads happening in the AIR Network this September. This week alone we’ve seen our Mukuru-led solutions group starting work on a theatre piece to identify sources and causes of air pollution, with the aim of coming up with sustainable solutions, and started our participatory mapping work. This work is with the Engaging with Industry group, and our talented artists have made a beautiful base map of the area and are taking it around the settlement to get information about where industrial pollution is bad. This will help us to identify ‘hotspots’ of pollution and specific industries that we can try and work with to find ways of reducing their contribution to air pollution.

Participatory mapping

SEI’s Annemarieke de Bruin ran some training on participatory GIS for three Mukuru residents earlier this year, which has put them in good stead for this work. We are looking forward to seeing the outputs later this year.

To follow along all the activities in Mukuru on social media (Facebook and twitter) search for #AIRnetwork



We have all been busy deciding what to do for our ‘mini-projects’ – the main work of the AIR network in this first phase. Proposals have been developed, budgets worked out, and then they were submitted to our advisory board for comment. The four mini-projects we are going to work on this year are….

Raising Awareness – aiming to raise awareness of air pollution amongst Mukuru residents

Mukuru Action Against Air Pollution – aiming to identify potential solutions to air pollution in Mukuru

Engaging with industry for Hewa safi, Afya bora (Clean air, Good health) – opening up dialogue between surrounding industry and Mukuru residents

Prioritising policies for cleaner air in Mukuru – engaging decision makers to prioritise and implement actions relating to air quality

Pitching ideas for mini-projects at the January workshop