Below is an update from ACTION partner RTC in Kenya. RTC is an NGO that supports people and organisations in transforming violent conflict and building lasting peace. It works in partnership with others to design and coordinate long-term programmes that support local peacebuilding initiatives and provides on-going support to partners in the midst of conflict.
After several years of providing training, mentoring and strategic support to Caritas Maralal forConflict Sensitive development work in Samburu County, Northern Kenya, RTC is pleased to announce its involvement in a new project that will integrate sustainable livelihood development and long-term peacebuilding, in an effort to improve personal and community security.
Rural Initiatives for Participatory Agricultural Transformation (RIPAT) for Peace in Kenya is a project funded by the Rockwool Foundation and implemented by Caritas Maralal, Responding to Conflict, and Research, Community and Organisational Development Associates (RECODA).
Conflict has long occurred between the district’s three main ethnic communities. Adverse environmental conditions aggravate disputes over water access and pasture, and sparse resources have led to a culture of cattle raiding. The easy availability of small arms means that conflicts are often violent.
The goal of the three-year project, which launched in June 2014, is to support communities in Baragoi, Marti, Amaya and Longewan in Samburu County. Building on existing skills and practices, it will introduce people to more effective, more sustainable farming methods designed to increase food production and reduce food insecurity. Linked to the agricultural work are initiatives to help improve dialogue and cooperation between the different ethnic groups in the region.
The project will engage local peace committees, elders, women, warriors (moran), administrative police and local politicians in the search for common ground from which to rebuild relationships and bring groups together when conflict arises. The goal is to encourage all levels of the community to work together to tackle the environmental, economic and security challenges to peace and development.
RTC’s involvement will be primarily in training community peace committees and administrative police, providing technical support to Caritas Maralal, and mediating between politicians whose constituencies are in the target locations. This community-driven approach will help to improve the chances of creating a long-lasting and sustainable peace in the area.