A Westgate Update from the Kenya Ushahidi Team

All Ushahidi team members and their families are accounted for (as well as everyone on the iHub team).

One of the Ushahidi team members (BRCK product), was traveling and his wife and children were inside the building. They were separated at the time, but all managed to get out and are safe now.

Westgate Mall Siege

Most everyone knows of the ongoing siege at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, where 10-15 gunmen have overtaken the shopping center, killed many and have taken hostages. There is a lot still going on, and we hope, in day 3, that we’ll see an end to it.

An excerpt from a message from Juliana to the team:

“It is during difficult times like these that we have to come together and reflect. From the response of our team in their individual capacity, to the generosity of giving blood, donations and sharing information. We have the opportunity to think about our work even more. We each joined Ushahidi for a reason. Today I am reminded of the one reason that binds us together. To make a difference, to assist, to make inefficient communication systems better, to change how information flows.”

It’s not over. We’re still thinking and praying for the people in the building as hostages, for the security forces as they assault and try to end this mess.

Some Sources of information

As usual, Twitter is one of the best sources for real-time information. Keep an eye on the following:


@IGKimaiyo – David Kimaiyo, Inspector General of Police, Kenya.
@PoliceKE – The Kenya Police.
@InteriorKE – The official handle for Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
@NDOCKenya – The Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre manages and coordinates disaster response at a national level. Email info@ndockenya.org Call +254-020-2212386

News Media:
@DailyNation – Kenya’s largest newspaper, the Daily Nation
@Howden_Africa – Daniel Howden, journalist who covers Africa & some other places for The Independent. Contributor to The Economist. Co-Producer of Stolen Seas doc on Somali piracy.
@MikePflanz – Kenya-based correspondent covering East, West and Central Africa for The Daily Telegraph and East Africa for the CS Monitor.

How to help:
@KenyaRedCross – Twitter handle for the Kenya Red Cross. Emergency Hotline: 1199, 0700395395, 0738395395

@SafaricomLtd – Safaricom has setup a way for people to donate money via Mpesa.

8 Responses to “A Westgate Update from the Kenya Ushahidi Team”

  1. Nigel McNie

    Good luck to everyone there. What a horrible situation.

  2. I hope this can end soon, with no more loss of life. Erik, I saw ppl tweeting in the first few hours that you were there onsite doing what you could to help families and friends cope. Glad that all at Ushahidi & the iHub are safe. Thoughts are with all of you.

  3. Echoing Nigel and Melissa above: So glad the team is safe. I hope the siege ends soon with minimal casualties. Please take care.

  4. Keep us informed! Most of the what we are getting from the social media streams are not well filtred! #WeAreOne

  5. linda gerull

    So thankful the team is safe. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are thinking of you all from Pierce County WA.

  6. Linda Dale

    What is happening in the photo on this page? It looks like the man is trying to rescue the little girl. Do you know if she escaped, and whether she was re-united with her family?

  7. @Linda – this is our colleagues daughter. She, her sisters, her mom and brothers were all able to escape safely.

  8. Wanungari

    You are in our thoughts and prayers, they have attacked us but they will never break us!!

    Toronto, CA