Briefings from Dhaka.
The following links are briefings from Dhaka hard copies also available.
Following the herd: why pastoralism needs better media coverage
Global public policy narratives on the drylands and pastoralism
Rainfed agriculture for an inclusive, sustainable and food secure India
Pastoralism: the custodian of China’s grasslands
Moving beyond the rhetoric: the challenge of reform in Kenya’s drylands
Past but outstanding projects
Past but outstanding projects.
By Tabitha Waringa.
As I visited our Resource centre in our organization, I had one desire in my heart which is to quench my thirst for the past, information on what we have been doing for the last decade we have been in operation as an organization.
There were outstanding programmes that I came across. ‘We can Alliance Campaign Project’ that was compiled by Ken Peter Otieno and Irene Aloo Mukalo in July 2009 captured my mind. Violence Against Women is a major human rights problem. It is perpetuated by patriarchal systems and the lack of knowledge as well as arena to openly discuss the causes, effects and suggestions on how to deal with it.
The WCA project sought to end all forms of Violence against women through the recruitment of Change makers and awareness creation, sustaining personal commitment calls for taking practical actions of solidarity with those experiencing violence thus learning the approaches towards prevention of social engagement and dialogue. This was through RECONCILE in its campaign and awareness strategies and through a grant support from Oxfam Novib remarkable results were experienced.
Its activities: Awareness creation, public visibility campaigns and community outreaches, inductions and trainings, recruitment and alliance building brought about achievements and emerging issues. These among others contribute to the existence of violence; Expectations, Trust amongst couples, poor communication, poverty, little understanding of each other, poor cultural practices, lack of transparency on resources, peer influence, unfaithfulness, alcohol, culture and religion. Among the effects of violence are low self esteem, poor development and growth of children and lack of economic progress.
It is still interesting that there are myths and beliefs around gender based violence that the rich do not suffer violence, violence is for the poor, those in Christianity do not face violence, dowry payment gives a man rights over a woman and that violence is no longer part of our society. This was commendable job by RECONCILE though campaign resources should be increased and there is need to have follow up trainings.
I also found the Arid and Semi-arid lands in Kenya (ASALs) project report by Mr. Michael Odhiambo. The place and role of these lands in national government and lately, climate change adaptation, has been a matter of significant debate. It is generally acknowledged that full potential of these lands have not been exploited to the benefit of the development of the populations in therein or of the national economy and they have not enjoyed the benefits of national developments. This led to the formation of the Ministry of State for Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands (MNKOAL) in 2008.
All this information is in our shelves in the Resource Centre where one can enrich themselves from the many other written material in it. I would encourage a visit to this important room once in a while. More articles on our projects will be published weekly on this page. Follow us on twitter @reconcileinfoea or like our face book page Resource Conflict Institute.
Pastoralists set to benefit from sure project
The pastoralists have gone back to their counties relieved after attending a two-day workshop with the Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE) at a Nakuru hotel which is set to kick start the Sustainable And Resilient P astoralism in Kenya-SURE project. The project is meant to develop a framework that will oversee the pastoralists and the minorities engage in policy formulation and acquire different positions both in
the county and national government.
In his opening remarks, Shadrack Omondi, Chief Executive Officer RECONCILE, observed that the workshop was meant to give a clear plan on how to disseminate information about the new policies to the communities to ensure the benefits positively affect the communities represented. He expressed his gratitude on the full house response noting that it is an indication that the outcome will be fruitful.
The meeting that consisted of eight counties from the Northern part of Kenya; Baringo, Kajiado, Isiolo, Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, Nakuru and Laikipia had an interactive session that discussed the common issues affecting the pastoralists and the minority groups in this region. According to these representatives there is still a lot of civic education that needs to be conducted at the grassroots as the people are not still able to access information on the new policies that have been formed currently in Kenya specifically on the devolved government system and the New constitution.
Key issues that the SURE project is set to spearhead through their involvement with these communities are capacity building, documentation of policies and activities, encouraging women participation in policy making, research conduction, and also packaging and sharing of information. The discussions will revolve around governance, advocacy and the overall Vision 2030. It will also envisage specific parts of the constitution.
SURE project in collaboration with the other Non-governmental organizations Community based organizations and other available structures will be holding public forums, capacity building and also civic education. CORD AID, REGLAP, IMPACT among other institutions will play different roles with RECONCILE as the convener of the just completed meeting.
Speaking during the workshop, Michael Odhiambo, Founder, RECONCILE, stated that the representatives should ensure that the communities back home know that this project is in existence, ongoing and yet to reach to them on the set calendar of events. Mohammed Dida, Program Coordinator, CORD AID, insisted that commitment was the only option for success while Miriam Ligoba, REGLAP noted that the SURE-project was timely and will address issues affecting the minorities and the pastoralists in the counties.
Gubernatorial Debate-Baringo wraps up campaigns
Gubernatorial debate-Baringo wraps up campaigns
By Tabitha Waringa.
RECONCILE organized a gubernatorial debate in Baringo on 28th February 2013. This was the last of the debates that the institute organized as a way of promoting good governance and integrating political governance with environmental governance. The debates have also been instrumental in un-packaging the constitution and enhance its understanding by wider stakeholders at the county level. The debate involved the gubernatorial aspirants, representatives of minority groups in Baringo, political leaders, representatives of professional groups like teachers and the larger interested community members.
The Baringo debate was organized under the banner: “Enhancing Participation and Representation of Minority Groups in Governance Processes at the County”. It was organized through the collaborative framework bringing together Endrois Welfare Council (EWC), Baringo County Civil Society Forum, and supported by ACT and CORDAID. It was aired live through both KASS international radio and T.V.
Baringo County is home to many different minority and marginalized groups like the Ilchamus, Endrois, Turkana, Pokot and the Nubians among others. The Constitution under article 56 (a) instructs that the minority and marginalized groups participate and be represented in governance and other spheres of life. This debate sought to provide opportunity to the candidates to expound on how they will deliver on this constitutional requirement.
Similarly, land and natural resource related conflicts have also been experienced in this county. There are also high poverty levels. It was therefore imperative to engage the candidates and the larger county members on reflections aimed at generating plans and strategies on how to exploit the natural resource within the county and distribute/share their benefits in a way that promotes peace and co-existence, sustainable development and improved livelihoods.
The functions of the governor which include working with the national government and establishment of linkages and development initiatives within county also needed to be explained in plain terms to the citizens to enable them clearly define their expectation. In so doing, it was expected that the debate will contribute to peace and harmony before and after the elections.
There were five candidates for the gubernatorial seat: Benjamin Cheboi, Aaron Tuikong, Stanley Kiptis, Samson Kigen Kibii and John Arap Koimaa. As the aspirants took to the floor, the audience in 300 sitting capacity auditorium at the Government Training Institute, Kabarnet waited eagerly to hear and discuss with the candidates. The moderator Mr. Moses Kurgat, a Lawyer and Chairman, Tribunal for Copyright, assisted by Kemboi of KASS international took the floor, welcomed everyone, spelled the rules of engagement and gave introductory remarks for the debate.
Mr. Kemboi then made introductory remarks to KASS international listeners and those watching the TV so that they are better able to follow effectively. Mr. Kurgat explained to the candidates that they will be expected to address the following questions among others during the debate:
1. How competent and ready are you for the Governor seat if elected in?
2. Are you aware of the functions of the Governor under the Constitution?
3. How equally will you distribute the benefits of the natural resources that exist in the County?
4. Will you be able to ensure that the minorities and the marginalized communities participate in Government processes?
5. How will you address other issues like Education, high rate of poverty, infrastructure and insecurity in the County?
To start off the debate, the candidates were given time to introduce themselves in terms of who they are, their background, what they were doing for a living and why they want to be governors.
Mr. Benjamin Chesire Cheboi, 54 yrs old, studied at the University of Nairobi, University of Manchester and University of Pennsylvania is a trained director and a public officer majoring in Finance, formerly the Chief Executive Officer, HELB where he served for 11yrs. Mr. Aaron Tuikong as well schooled at the University of Nairobi for a bachelors degree in Agriculture and later went to Britain for his Master Degree. He has worked for various public institutions including the Ministry of Agriculture, Chemlil Sugar Company and finally joined Maseno University as a council member until his resignation. Mr. Stanley Kimng’etich Kiptis, 57 yrs old studied at High ridge Teachers Training College, taught for fifteen years and later joined the Catholic University of East Africa for a bachelor’s degree in Education. He also holds a Masters Degree in strategic management, worked with KNUT and has been a teacher in the County until his resignation.
Mr. Samson Kigen Kibii graduated from the University of Nairobi in 1991 with a bachelor of commerce and later joined Moi University for a Masters Degree in Strategic Management. The 44yr old is yet to graduate with a PhD in Business Leadership from the Management University of Africa. He also worked with Telkom Kenya as a head of sales until 2011 when he resigned to establish himself as a consultant to-date. Mr. Joel Kibiwot Arap Koimaa has been in the Non Governmental Organisation world working with World Vision Kenya. He studied in Maseno University with a bachelor’s degree of Science in mathematics and has also attained a Masters Degree in Applied statistics from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He recently resigned as a lecturer from the Kabarak University. The comical 37yr old termed himself a young governor exactly what Baringo needed. They all reside in the County and schooled there for their primary and secondary education.
From the debate, it emerged that the major issues were equitable resource distribution, representation of minority groups, infrastructure development to link different parts of the county and boost productivity, agricultural productivity and food security and the need to improve human resource base in the county. To these several proposals were made such as: Encouragement of both external and internal investors in the County, Construction of better roads and improvement of academic structures in the county.
On the issue of peace and peaceful co-existence, they will encourage local equity in resources distribution within to ensure that harmony has being brought back to the county. The issue of participation of minority groups in governance processes will no longer exist as they would hold meetings to encourage their people in the same. They were clearer on the issue of representation in the government assuring the audience their commitment to this as their first Governor.
As we eagerly wait for this historical general election, Baringo County has a reason to vote in the gubernatorial slot with much confidence after they aired their concerns to the aspirants. The debate has given many hopes as the aspirants have shown commitment to their word. All we can wait for is actions to speak after the Governor comes into office.
For further information a report to this event will be posted on Website. You can also like us on our Face-book page Reconcile-Resource Conflict Institute or Follow us on Twitter @reconcileinfoea.
Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE) is a regional policy research and advocacy NGO registered in Kenya and implementing programmes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The Institute conducts policy and legal research on environmental and natural resources, undertakes public interest environmental and natural resources education and litigation and advocate for policies, laws and practices that empower resource dependent communities to influence policy processes and institutions that have a bearing on their access to natural resources and management of natural resource conflicts.
RECONCILE is managed by a Secretariat which reports to a Board of Directors. The Board is the top policy and decision-making organ of the Institute, responsible for providing strategic leadership and acting as a link between the organization, the target groups and the society in general.
The Secretariat is led by the Executive Director, who sits on the Board and is its Secretary. It implements programmes and projects to realize the mandate of the organization. The Secretariat is currently comprised of 10 members of staff, three of them providing administrative support to programme work. In addition, the organization hosts both local and foreign interns – 3 of them at a time. RECONCILE also has access to the services of Associates, who though not members of staff, are available for short-term appointments and provide intellectual input into the work of the Institute.