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Monthly Archives: March 2012

DEVOLVED GOVERNMENT,WHAT BENEFITS DO PASTORALISTS AND MARGINALISED GET:

Pastoralists communities occupy 80% of arid and semi arid areas (ASALs) in Kenya. Majority of them practice livestock keeping and agro-pastoralism.

The Kenyan government promulgated a new constitution in the year 2010. Chapter eleven of the Kenyan constitution provides for devolved Government. The establishment of the senate by the constitution gives a legislative backup for devolution. It ensures that the senate shall protect devolution.

The county government under the new constitution will enhance the development among the pastoralist communities in Kenya. Initially, national resources were managed at national level but with devolution, the resources will be managed from the county level and this will give power to the local communities to be in charge of their own resources.

The devolved government will also give powers of self governance to the people and thus enhance participation of the local communities in making decisions on issues that affects them. For many decades, decisions were made at the national level which has led to increased marginalization and neglect of pastoralist communities. A little has also been done to involve the pastoralist communities in the policy making processes. This has led to formulation of policies which have excluded the pastoralist livelihoods as a viable way of life. With devolution therefore marginalized groups will get an opportunity to engage fully in the development issues in their respective counties.

The objects of devolve governance is therefore to give powers of self governance to people and enhance participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the state and in making decisions affecting them. It will also recognize the rights of communities to manage their own affairs and to promote and protect the interests and the right of marginalized and minority groups.

Devolution will also help the local communities to ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources.  This will enable the people at the grassroots to monitor service delivery effectively.  The communities will also be able to control their source of revenue and monitor their development effectively.

Devolution also ensures gender equity. The constitution stipulates that not more than two-thirds of the members of any county assembly or county executive shall be of the same gender. This gives room for the pastoralist women to be considered in both local and national appointments either through competitive processes or by taking affirmative action.

Bringing resources and governance closer to the people will promote development in the country. Access to resources and control over these resources will help local communities to plan and manage their development effectively. Social amenities such as schools, health centre, markets, infrastructure, and communication among others will be established thus leading to improved living standards of the local communities.

Devolution provides opportunities for pastoralist to develop pro-pastoralist interventions and responses strengthen the role of traditional institution in governance and speed up conflict and disaster responses. With all these opportunities available, it’s the responsibility of pastoralist communities to take up these tasks and build a better tomorrow for themselves. The local communities should also be vigilante to ensure the challenges which comes with devolution does not hinder their development plans.  These fundamental challenges and issues include clanism/tribalism and negative political dynamics at the national level.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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YOUTH AND LEADERSHIP AMONG PASTORALIST COMMUNITIES IN KENYA.

Youth leadership derives when young, educated professionals whether in informal or formal sectors acquire knowledge, and commit their energies in matters regarding communities’ development as wells the nation wellbeing. But when this young people are left out in any decision regarding social-economic and political empowerment, the outcome is disastrous to the nation as well as to the surrounding communities.

According to current constitution, the state shall take measures, including affirmative action programmes to ensure that the youth have  access to relevant education and training, have opportunities to associate, be represented and participate in political, social, economic  and other spheres of life, have access to employment and are protected from harmful cultural practices and exploitation (Article 55). For young leaders this is seen as an opportunity for them to engage effectively in nation building.

However among the pastoralist youths, leadership has been short changed for reasons that are significant in their daily lives. For instance access to education among the youths in the pastoralist areas is quite difficult and employment opportunities are rare and their ascension to leadership posts has been barred by older generations who have clinged on to power.

Youth leadership in pastoral communities has been neglected for decades. This is because most of these communities do not regard the youth as important people in the society. They are seen as irrational, less experienced and young. The current constitution implementation committee has not done much in ensuring the youthful generation is involved in the implementation processes. This has therefore made it difficult for the youths in marginalized communities to access these opportunities.

Article (27) of the new constitution outlines that not individual in the country should face any kind of discrimination. However the youths of Kenya especially from pastoralist and marginalised communities have been subjected to discrimination especially in the public offices. Recent survey carried out by the National Commission on Integration Commission (NCIC) have shown that majority of employees in public sector are from the dominant communities in Kenya. Article (27) (4) clearly states that the state has been given the mandate of ensuring that Kenyans are protected from any kind of discrimination. Article 27 (6) stipulates ways in which the state has been given the authority to put in place such as affirmative actions and policies to redress any injustices.

It’s quite unfortunate that pastoralist and marginalised communities have been neglected by the Government for a very long time. In addition these areas have the highest number of poverty rates, lack of proper infrastructure, inadequate social amenities and low literacy levels.

The new constitution acts an entry point for the youths to have their space in this country. It’s also important to note that majority of voters in Kenya are youths and therefore it’s very crucial for the Government to ensure that they are involved in all development processes in the country, directly or indirectly.

Article 55 guides the state on equal representation of youths in politics, economic and social aspects of democracy in this nation. The same constitution compels any stringent rules or laws that limit youth representation in any manner hence the government has the obligation to engage the youths in matters that are of important to their development.

Therefore for effective administration of rights, equality and social justice youths must be considered in any upcoming commissions, public offices and any other leadership posts so as to ensure representation and gender balance and thus move away from the politics of discrimination and marginalization.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IN BARINGO COUNTY

REPORT ON SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IN BARINGO COUNTY- MARIGAT AND MUKUTANI DIVISION CONDUCTED FROM 2ND -6TH FEBRUARY 2012.

A picture of Enosukuro Primary school in Kiserian that was vandalized by Pokot Militia.

Theme: accessing deplorable situation of human rights of the Ilchamus community

Introduction.

The Ilchamus community is a section of larger Maa speakers who live in the shore of Lake Baringo. They are pastoralist’s community in Kenya with approximated population of about 40,000 according to a projection of 2009 national census. Ilchamus are rated to be one of the poorest minority societies in Kenya.

OBJECTIVE OF THE VISIT.

  1. 1.      To review the situation of human right violation in Mukutani and Marigat division.

 

  1. 2.      To study the possibility of Government laxity in providing of security to Ilchamus community.
  1. 3.      To visit the displaced persons and those who were injured by cattle rustlers(Militia)

The recent visit to Mukutani and Marigat by two lawyers from Kenya National Commission on Human Right(KNCHR)- department of economic and social cultural rights was encourage by the report done by Michael Tiampati in the year 2009 to special rapporteur on  the situation of human rights and fundamental freedom of the indigenous people.

Towards the end of the year, PDNK facilitated Nation Media reporter Francis Mureithi to visit the above affected areas and write and article on the Nation news paper concerning the plight of Ilchamus regarding the state of insecurity.

Gerald lepariyo, programme assistant at PDNK lodged complain to KNCHR and attached Tiampati’s report and the findings of Nation reporter. The main aim of this was to pressurize KNCHR to study both findings and do a recommendation to government agencies to protect the rights of minority-ilchamus.

In both the reports that was table to KNCHR; the Ilchamus have suffered from incidences of insecurity perpetuated by their neighbors Pokot from East Pokot district driving away their herds of livestock, killing innocent people, displacing them from their homes and destroy other valuable properties. From the year 2005, Militia from Pokot carried out sporadic raids to Ilchamus community displacing them from Rugus village, Mukutani, Enosukuro, Kiserian and Sokotei. People from the above villages vacated their homes for fear of loosing more lives.

The following were the observation from Tiampati & Mureithi:

  • From the year 2005-2011 more than 100 people lost their lives through raid by the Pokot.
  • Four primary schools were closed down completely namely: Rugus, Mukutani, Enosukuro and Kiserian.
  • Six hundred students dropped out of school as a result of these attacks.
  • Properties worth 10million were destroyed by the Pokot Militia.

Kenya National Commission of Human Rights observed that its prudent for them to visit the above areas and corroborate the above complains. Therefore KNCHR decide to offer two Legal officers to carry out their physical study and come up with a report. We visited Baringo on 2nd -6th Feb 2012 to access deplorable human rights situation in Mukutani and Kiserian where Ilchamus community lives. On Friday 3rd, we visited Kiserian location and we were able to speak to local civic leader Stephen Ole Kwaro. He alluded that the security situation has improved slightly since the government constructed a GSU Camp personnel, though the Militia are still attacking. Thomas Ole Nongonop, Head teacher Kiserian secondary school commented on poor school performance since the attacks begun in the year 2005 to date because students fear of being attack during their evening and morning studies.

Unfortunately when we were in Kiserian the same day, a 17 years old student Sape Lesita was shot dead and herds of livestock were driven away in Kiserian.

On 4th Feb we manage to visit Marigat police station to document the number of deaths that were booked as a results of killings by Militia and corroborate from what was written in the reports.

The following were recommendations observed by KNCHR representatives;

  • Four schools were closed down as indicated earlier.
  • Twenty people were confirmed dead according to Police report in Marigat Police station.
  • Approximated 2500 population were displaced from Rugus, Enosukuro, Mukutani and Kiserian by Pokot Militia.
  • Approximated 10,000 herds of livestock were not recovered by the police during the attacks.
  • It’s not in contest that the number of students dropped out of school is estimated to be six hundred.
  • Fifty more people were killed by the Militia but they were not booked in the police records.
  • There is a gross violation of human rights, livelihoods and fundamental freedoms to Ilchamus people.
  • The Kenyan government did less in protection of lives, properties of the Ilchamus people as guaranteed in the New Constitution.

WAY FORWARD:

  • The Kenyan government must protect the lives of innocent Kenyans equally irrespective of tribe and geographical location.
  • The government should ensure that the PIONEER IDPs (Ilchamus) should be resettled back to their original homes.
  • There is need for the government to compensate those families who lost their relatives, properties as results of the attacks.
  • The government should move quickly to reopen and repair those schools that were closed down and vandalized by the Pokot Militia.
 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

DROUGTH FORCED PASTORALISTS TO UGANDA.

Drought rampage has forced thousand pastoralist in pokot county in looking for pastures and water in the neighboring country of Uganda. Leaders from the region expressed fears that residents have lost their animals due drought since their was no rain from October last year.Seasonal rivers have dried up forcing residents to migrate to areas of Amudat and Nakapiriprit in Eastern Uganda.reports indicates that over 5,000 herders with almost 20,000 head of cattle have crossed the border.

 

source standard newspaper 6/03/12

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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PASTORALIST ENGAGED POLICE OFFICERS IN TURKANA COUNTY.

Tension was high in lokori, turkana county following suspected neighboring pokot rustlers clashing security personnel.Heavy fighting broke out between police officers and bandits heavily armed after they stole 104 goats.Turkana east DO Washington odhiambo said over 70 pokot bandits attacked a security camp at Napeitom as they escaped.He said Administration police officer battled them for more than four hours nobody was injured.The DO said they were pursuing the bandits to recover the animals,adding that several villagers in lokori,lomelo and kapado had lost dozens of animals to pokot bandits.

The security officers engaged the rustlers but they made away with the animals towards pokot North district. Nobody was injured including the villagers and the security officers during the confrontation between the security officers and the bandits but the rustlers escaped with the animals towards pokot North;Odhiambo said.

The DO said they were pursuing the bandits to recover the animals; we have put our security officers on high alert to counter any further attack by bandits. we will try to pursue the animals until we recover them; the do said.The administrator said they were worried to the trend of escalating insecurity in Turkana east district instigated bh bandits from the neighbouring communities.

Local leaders have accused the pokot administration of laxity to cooperate to recover the stolen animals.Recently,police in lokori recovered three camels stolen from pokot and arrested three suspects.

The region has in the past suffered heavy casualties from cattle thefts sometimes degenerating into ethnic wars.

source:standard newspaper 28th Feb,2012.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Uncategorized