Afri-Link has in the last two years entered into a strategic partnership with Marakwet District Peace Committee (DPC) in a concerted effort to combat and forestall incidences of cattle raids and general insecurity in Marakwet West district and Trans Nzoia East. During this period of engagement, we have been able to identify gaps needing further intervention in making the DPC function more effectively. Despite resource constraints, Afri-Link has made modest outreach efforts in building reconciliation efforts among communities feuding over access to and control local resources to which they all lay claim to, by way of brokering an acceptable win-win formula. This approach was designed to address mutual inter-communal/clan friction and tension in the affected areas.
Currently the organization is working with Pact Kenya to implement a peace building project in Marakwet West district. Key among the project interventions are building the capacity of other peace actors to be able to handle emerging complex conflict issues in the district, training of youth and women on peace building skills, carryout a baseline survey on conflict, strengthening relations with other peace actors and building the capacity of Marakwet West district peace committee (DPC) .
The following are the key achievements of our peace building project funded by Pact Kenya in Marakwet West district
- We have a baseline report that has established facts and statistics of peace building initiatives in Marakwet West and Trans Nzoia East district. The report has formed a basis through which Afri-Link has been able to implement the project and in the end achieve its objectives.
- So as to address exclusion of the youth and women in peace building initiatives, Afri-Link has trained 160 youth and women on peace building and conflict resolution skills. They are now using these skills to promote peace building activities within their communities and at the Marakwet District Peace Committee and the sub location, village and household levels. Afri-Link is using the trained youth and women and this way has expanded the visibility of the Marakwet District Peace Committee at the sub- location, village and households hold level to help in implementation of peace activities.
- In order to further build the capacity of the community, Afri-Link has organized two exchange visits for Marakwet DPC to the Trans Nzoia East District peace committee and West Pokot District Peace Committee. In Trans Nzoia East district, the committee has learned the Nyumba Kumi Peace Initiative (Ten Households) currently supported by Afri-Link in Kaplamai Division – Trans Nzoia East district. The Marakwet DPC has had an opportunity to learn how effective this method is and be able to replicate the same in their district. In West Pokot, the Marakwet DPC committee has learned how the West Pokot DPC has been able to address the issue of illicit small arms and cross border conflict. These exchange visits has enhanced experience sharing and networking efforts among stakeholders. A total of 40 representatives from the Marakwet District Peace Committee from the five target Divisions of Marakwet West district were selected for the exchange visit.
- Afri-Link has supported follow up mechanisms by the Marakwet and Trans Nzoia East DPC that has sought to manage the conflict issues that exist amongst the people. Afri-Link is in the process of collaborating with the National Steering Committee to support the DPC in its documentation capabilities, record keeping and information sharing.
- To promote inter communal dialogue among the different communities (Sengwer, Kikuyu, Luyhas, Kisii and Marakwet) Afri-Link has supported dialogue meetings every quarter for the last 2 years in the five target divisions comprising of representatives from the different communities and across all genders and age and the DPC. These forums have enabled the community to access information of government development programmes, talk to one another and address issues of security. The dialogue forums have helped break down barriers and open up the communication spaces.
- It has been able to reduce perennial resource based conflict between the community and government agencies in Marakwet district through support to frequent dialogue meetings and institutional capacity building of nature based community organizations like Water Resource Users Associations (WRUA) and community forests associations (CFAs); These meetings have also involved officials from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and the Water Resource Users’ Associations (WRUAs) on the other hand to agree on issues earmarked in the participatory management plan, which is perceived to cause conflict; and prioritize consolidative’ efforts on volunteerism, within the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and lobbing for more allocation to DPCs’ peace-linked “tree planting” and “water for all” project activities, currently being supported through Local Authorities’ Transfer Funds (LATF) and the Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF), laying more emphasis on raising of seedlings for peaceful community, and peace tree planting for the future-(Trees For The Future Programme). The results of these meetings are sustained by registered natural resource based community organizations.