Ushindi kwa Uganda: Mapping election violence in Uganda
Since November 2015, I have been engaged on a project to track and map incidents of election violence prior to, during and beyond the elections on 18th February 2016 and provide an early warning alert system that sends sms and email reports when violence is reported in a 20-100 kilometer radius from the subscriber’s location. The tracker was inspired by and built on top of the Ushahidi framework which was originally developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post election violence in 2008.
Ushindi kwa Uganda which translates to “Victory for Uganda” was built to crowd source information on election-related violence through twitter, email, sms and reports sent in through the website however there a lot of issues arose in funding the tool so it didn’t get the desired publicity. A small team and myself have been updating the tracker with verified reports from reputable media houses and social media.
Ushindi kwa Uganda currently gets over 3,000 monthly visitors on the website and serves alert notifications to nearly 100 people. Ushindi kwa Uganda is utilized by civil society, election observers, journalists and other interested individuals. It is almost 2 weeks since the general election passed and the violence numbers are growing. Today, according to verified reports, there have been 26 deaths, 78 people injured, 366 arrests and 4 people missing. Ushindi kwa Uganda can only record information as it happens and doesn’t follow up on the outcome. For example, once people are reported missing and they are discovered days later, you will not find a report of this discovery on the website.
Prior to the election, a lot of political analysts spelled doom around the election and asked the public to brace itself for the violence that was coming. Some even likened it to the situation in Kenya where 1,100 died and 650,000 were displaced in the aftermath of the December 2007 election. Ushindi kwa Uganda was created primarily as an alerting tool to keep people safe and away from violent areas as well as to provide information. The information on the site will later be analyzed and used to aggregate hotspots as well as provide an explanation as to why all this violence occurred and whether or not it could have been avoided and how.
To visit the website, click here