In June 2014, Caritas Maralal in Partnership with Responding to Conflict (RTC) and Research, Community and Organisational Development Associates (RECODA) launched the Rural Initiatives for Participatory Agricultural Transformation) “RIPAT For Peace” Project in Samburu County. The project is funded by Rockwool Foundation and is being implemented in Baragoi, Marti, Amaiya, Longewan and Plesian.
The rationale behind RIPAT for peace is the argument that food security and violent conflict can be interlinked, and that this dynamic is impacted upon by structural and developmental challenges. Hazards such as drought in Samburu County negatively affect capacities and opportunities to build and maintain secure and healthy communities. RIPAT for Peace uses a strategy that employs a low-tech and sustainable community driven and owned approach to integrating livelihood development and peace building.
According to the project’s baseline survey led by Dr Nick Lewer of Coral Associates LTD, some of the drivers of conflict in Samburu are –amongst others- Cattle rustling , pressure from overgrazing during drought periods, clashes at the county borders, changes in rainfall patterns which means that water resources are stretched and contested due to drought and poor management systems, Vengeance for past raids and killings and roadside banditry.
In 2010 there was a cholera outbreak in Amaiya location that borders East Pokot district and Samburu County. This outbreak claimed the Lives of about 100 people. In Amaya the only source of water is a seasonal river. Communities take a bath , source drinking water for livestock , household use and also do their laundry on this particular river. Water borne diseases such as dystentry are common in this location. Water projects and hygiene and sanitation campaigns should be prioritised by actors in Amaiya and Plesian. The communities need to be trained on basics such as handwashing, water borne diseases prevention and control and the importance of constructing toilets in each household. They also need community managed systems to ensure that people access clean and safe drinking water. Such as supply of water treatment tabs through the Ministry of Health or provision of water filters by active agencies in the areas that include the Catholic Diocese of Maralal- Caritas Office, Child Fund and ACTED.
In the same location, there is no mobile telephone network coverage. There has been cases of conflict between the Samburu and Pokot. These cases of conflict affect access to markets, water points, schools and health centres. However inter and intra ethnic peace meetings thave been facilitated by a number of agencies in the area. Through the RIPAT for peace project 2 groups of farmers have been formed and trained in Amaya and plesian. Open drip irrigation systems have been installed and the groups shall later be introduced to Conservation Agriculture. Also, four groups of 35 people each are now active members of Village Savings and Loans Associations in Longewan and Amaiya.
In some regions in Kenya, tapped water is far cry from reality. Water borne diseases are the order of the day. The only source of livelihoods is pastoralism. To complement the RIPAT for Peace project In Amaiya, Caritas Maralal is currently sourcing funds to drill a bore hole in Amaiya, conduct hygiene and sanitation campaigns by triggering communities to build toilets in each and every household and also train them on hygiene and sanitation. A Pilot project supported by CAFOD to provide bio-sand filters that should facilitate water treatment is ongoing however more needs to be done to ensure that communities live in peace, are food secure and can access clean and safe drinking water. For any leads please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org