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Empowering Indigenous Communities in Kenya through Space Tech: A Conversation with Lilian Nguracha

Lilian Balanga Nguracha, the founder of Women.Conserve, is a passionate advocate for the rights of Indigenous women and their communities. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lilian recently in Vienna, Austria, where she represented the GEO Indigenous Alliance at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and spoke about the critical role of space technology in empowering Indigenous communities for conservation and the Naapu Ntomonok app.

The Naapu Ntomonok app was a challenge Lilian presented at the Inidgenous FOSS4G Hackathon, where participants were asked to co-design an app that would enable Samburu women to locate on and off grid: "moving" markets, "moving" water trucks, "moving" hospitals, local dispensaries as well as water bodies and landmarks. The challenge was solved by a team of technologists from different parts of the world, including machine learning expert Miroslawa Alunowska Figueroa from Mexico and software developer Benard Odhiambo from Kenya, and won first place.

In this interview, Lilian explains how severe droughts have affected her tribe, the Samburu, a nomadic pastoralist community in northern Kenya, introduces the Naapu app, and explains how you can support the cause. You'll also gain insights into how space data can be used for social good and how we can work together to support the Samburu tribe.

Whether you are a scientist, technologist, or just someone who cares about environmental protection and social justice, this video interview offers a unique perspective on how we can use space technology to create positive change and support those who need it most.


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