Visiting pop stars and politicians made it famous. It featured in the Oscar-winning movie The Constant Gardner.
But look at a map and you’ll strain your eyes trying to locate the tin shacks and mud huts of Kibera.
Although one of Africa’s more densely populated areas – some 250,000 people crammed into 2.3 sq km – the informal settlement shows up as nothing but “forest” in the Kenyan land registry.
The shanty town is just five kilometres south west from Nairobi’s city centre. Official maps pinpoint the Royal Nairobi golf course. But below this, there’s zilch, a big blank space where the Kibera slum should be.
Determined to be seen, to put themselves on the map, Kibera’s residents have turned to a DIY tech solution.
Using hand-held GPS devices, trained volunteers are marking what they regard as important in and around the 13 villages which make up Kibera.
Their waymarks get zapped over instantly to Map Kibera, a digital map, part of a community news website built using open source software.