Monday, March 31, 2008

Proposal to deal with the post election conflict


Project title: Enhancing harmony and Development among slum Dwellers in Nairobi through reduction of horizontal violence and strengthening of peoples Organizations.

Time Frame: April to May 2008.

Project Goal: Reduction of Horizontal violence among the dwellers of informal Settlements, through organizing of residents into Neighborhood Peace and Development groups, strengthen the existing CBOs and FBOs and use them to protect Rights.

Beneficiaries: Direct Beneficiaries shall be 250 CBOs with 25,000 members Indirect Beneficiaries shall be all residents of the informal Settlements.

Contact: Lawrence O. Apiyo.
National Chairman, Community Organization Practitioners
Association of Kenya.
PO Box 6253, 00200, new Hurlingham Plaza 3rd Floor Room D11
Nairobi - Kenya.,


Community Organization Practitioners Association of Kenya (COPA-K) is a professional membership body of social development workers whose concern is community organizing as a key to genuine people’s empowerment, transformation and sustained development. The Association’s main objective is to promote and enhance community organization work /profession in Kenya. It aims at developing the capacity of its members to be more efficient and effective as community organizers. This is also extended to the leaders of the people’s Organizations in order for them to be effective leaders to their membership.

Basically, Community Organisation is a social development approach that facilitates a community driven development processes with a view to enabling people to actively participate in shaping their destiny.

The post –Election Violence prompted Members of Community Organization Practitioners Association of Kenya to engage in direct mobilization of residents of the informal settlements of Nairobi through leaders of Community Based and Faith Based Organizations.

It was on January 1st that a quick consultation through the short message system among the members arrived at an agreement that the intervention of the Association was of vital importance since the areas that were most affected were the same ones where they work and the affected were the same people they work with. At this time, all the mother agencies where members of the Association work were still on Holiday.

The horrifying horizontal violence was/is uncalled for. It is painful to see poor community members who have lived together in harmony for years, turning against one another, killing one another and destroying/burning one another’s properties. The poor people’s attention has so far been turned away from the main issue, the irregularities surrounding the outcome of the general elections, to the horizontal violence and destruction of properties. COPA – Kenya therefore was convinced that it was within its mandate to facilitate its members to positively intervene and promote peace and reconciliation among the poor.

In the last one month, Kenya has experienced an unprecedented violence as a result of the disputed general elections results. Most affected are the Slums where majority poor live. The on-going violence is characterized by looting, burning of houses, and destruction of business premises, forceful displacements, illegal occupation of houses, refusal to pay rent by tenants and Killings. The police have intervened and opened fire, resulting in more deaths. The violence has divided so much the different ethnic communities that have lived together for many years in the settlements along the political persuasions.

Problem Statement.

It is right to say that the violence we are witnessing and experiencing in this post election period was premeditated by a wider section of the Kenyan society. However, it is not true to say it is a result of the just concluded discredited General elections. Kenya’s problems are as old as its independence. When Kenya fell to colonialists, the problems also set in. Some of these problems revolve around governance, and equitable resource allocation among others. The clamor to correct these historical mistakes and injustices began almost immediately after independence, taking different forms. It is therefore the view of
COPA – Kenya that the violence resulting from the election dispute is just a sign of frustrations and of the nipped hope for change Kenyans have long desired. It has remained a belief and tradition that this elusive change can only be brought about through democratic elections that brings people centered leadership, who would create democratic structures/institutions and systems for indiscriminate governance and resource allocation. It is for a fact that the violence was very evident in and around the poor communities. When the poor turn against one another, they turn against those they perceive belong to the side of oppressors and when they turn against the middle class areas, Business places, transport agencies, it means they destroy anything they feel is a manifestation or a pillar of oppression. Of greater concern to COPA – Kenya is the preparation of the grassroots to participate in the coming Truth and Justice Commission and Electoral review committee hearings. We are concerned that the hard truths that will come from these commissions may fuel some disharmony and disrupt the gains already made in creating peace in the settlements. Worth mentioning is the fact that no institution or individual can neither force nor prosecute anyone for hate, but genuinely sustained positive change processes can cause transformation and conversion. Based on this, COPA-Kenya seeks not only to address the violence through peace and Reconciliation initiatives, but also on a longer term community organizing for good governance and asset Building among the poor in our urban towns and cities.

Reduction of Horizontal violence among the dwellers of informal Settlements, through organizing of residents into Neighborhood Peace and Development groups, strengthen the existing CBOs and FBOs and use them to protect Rights shall become the core m mandate of COPA –Kenya in this endeavor.

Beneficiaries: Direct Beneficiaries shall be 250 CBOs with 25,000 members. Indirect Beneficiaries shall be all residents of the informal Settlements in Nairobi.

Target Areas. The targeted Settlements/slums are found in Nairobi city and include: -
Kibera, Korogocho, Huruma, Kiambiu, Baba Dogo and Mathare.

Current priority problems.
• Loss of sources of livelihood.
• Illegal occupation of other peoples houses.
• Weakening Community Based Organizations.
• Insecurity.
• Limited access to adequate basic needs such as food, clothing, and households.
• Fear, Trauma, suspicion and hopelessness.

Please contact COPA-Kenya for further information


Monday, March 17, 2008

Kochfm response since January 2008

Koch FM’s Intervention to the Post Election Violence
Community Outreach Department

1.0 Introduction


The political violence witnessed in Kenya after the disputed results of the December 27, 2007 general elections is the worst civil violence in her history since the attempted coup of 1982. As in the past women and children were the most affected with youths being accused as the active participants in the violence. In all the occasions it is the poor who suffered most. The suffering the poor underwent was extremely painful for a right thinking person to just see and sit back. It is also sad to note that the largest destructions and killings took place in the dwelling areas of the poor. In Nairobi for instance massive destruction of physical properties and killings was experienced in the peoples’ settlements of Kibera, Mathare and Huruma Ghetto. Kijiji cha Chewa that used to neighbor Mathare 4A is now history as the ghetto was burnt to ashes.

A section of the field which, before the announcement of the results of the 2007 elections, was a home to over 3000 people. This is where Kijiji cha Chewa used to be.

Though Korogocho community was not badly hit by the violence, by this I mean witnessing inter-ethnic violence and destruction of properties, the acts of violence in the neighboring communities impacted negatively to the Korogocho community. For instance the violence witnessed in Ngomongo-neighbor to the east, Kasabuni, Kariadudu and Kariobangi-neighbor to the west highly contributed to acts of robbery within the slums. The idle young adults used the tension and confusion to engage in acts of lawlessness injuring and killing quite a number of people.

The persistent tenancy conflict in Ngomongo almost ignited a bitter violence between the residents of Korogocho and Ngomongo when the latter confronted the other community alleging that youths from Korogocho accompanied the Police and the landlords in an aborted late night operation to arrest those who are alleged to be rent defaulters. Again, the thugs took good use of the tension and confusion robbing many and killing one person.

A good number of victims of the violence from other parts of the country also found their way and refuge in Korogocho. There are a sizeable number of such people from as far as Western, Nyanza, and Rift Valley province who are now considering themselves to be residents of Korogocho.

2.0 Past Experience

The violence witnessed after the announcement of the much disputed election results arouse the past inter-ethnic violence witnessed in Korogocho in the year 1992 and 1997. And like now the fights highly contributed to almost total collapse of security in the area. A number of people lost their lives.

3.0 Koch FM’s Intervention

In line with our objective –to promote peace and peaceful co-existence amongst the various ethnic communities in Korogocho and to defend human rights and safeguard human dignity, we resolved to;

Advocate for peace and understanding amongst our listeners as we believed and hoped that an acceptable solution would be reached through dialogue and debate. We made peace messages and jingles from the community members and regularly played them on air. This is still on-going.
We mobilized for food and clothes through radio appeals. Our listeners overwhelmingly brought clothing items which we took to the over 500 families that were camping at the Star of Hope Academy in Huruma.
In collaboration with other pro-peace initiatives, we managed to mobilize, organize and undertake a call-for-peace procession in Korogocho and Ngomongo. The procession attracted a huge number of participants. Apart from peace slogans, songs and chants, we also distributed handbills and T-shirts with peace and reconciliation messages.

3.1 The intervention’s important dates chart

Date Objective Activity Place Target/Beneficiaries
01/01/08 Appeal to our listeners that justice will only prevail in a peaceful environment
Playing peace/justice music
Koch FM studio Our listeners
02 to 19/01/08 Raise materials to support the victims of post election violence
Hourly radio appeal for support in any form
Koch FM studio Our listeners
09/01/08 To show our/listeners solidarity and support to victims of the post election violence
Distribute the collected items
Star of Hope Academy in Huruma 500 people who had sought refuge in the school after their village-Kijiji cha Chewa-was razed to ashes
12/01/08 Reduce political tension and promote peace
Pro-peace procession
Korogocho, Ngomongo Korogocho/Ngomongo Residents
23/01/08 To show our solidarity with the victims/affected
2nd distribution of the items collected
Miss Koch boardroom, Korogocho 85 people affected by the post election violence in Korogocho
30/01/08 To promote peace & co-existence
Radio debate
Koch FM studio Koch FM audience
22 /02 to 08/03/2008 Promote peace and reconciliation
Radio peace and reconciliation message jingles with APHRC
Koch FM studio Korogocho community and the entire Koch FM audience

3.2 Koch FM’s Impact

Koch FM made a great impact to the lives of the residents of Korogocho and her general audience in many ways i.e.

Providing not only a medium of communication but also a platform for Kenyans to contribute and share whatever little they had with their brothers
Cooled down the tempers and tensions of our listener through peace messages and this to some extent kept the violence in the low level witnessed, compared to other slums of Nairobi
Provided a space for the community to pre-empt possible planned attack or revenge through the radio leading to aborting of such plans if at all there were any, after the story goes on air in a reconciliatory manner
Provided an opportunity for the individual residents of Korogocho to speak their mind on peaceful co-existence to the rest of the community members and this greatly influenced the potential peace breakers positively. The community members were impressed and could be heard commenting that they heard so and so appealing for peace through the radio.
Being a media the community takes whatever information they receive from us truth and we therefore play a greater role in shaping their opinion

4.0 Current Plans and Activities to Promote Peace, Justice and Reconciliation

Koch FM, through her Community Outreach Department intends to embark on a myriad of activities to;

Educate people on the importance of dialogue and issue based debate
Promote peace, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence
Establish community conflict management/resolution structure to facilitate peace talks when need arise
Promote nationhood, good governance, democracy and respect for human rights

4.1 Implementation Strategy

Our implementation strategy shall include;

Inter village sporting activities and dialogues
Special focus on youths and women in village leadership structures
Radio talk show/debates
Participatory theatre/drama
Workshops/Focus Group Discussions (FGD)