A Community Based Organization is conducting a four-day training for 60 mediators in Tana River County to help in conflict resolution and transformation.
The mediators are drawn from Tana River, Galledyetu, Bura and Bangale Sub-Counties and were first trained in July to amicably resolve election related conflicts in their locations.
The training aims to strengthen the capacity of local mediators to deal with informal resolution of disputes to curb any flare up of violence, thus contributing to the stabilization of communities throughout the electoral period.
The 18-month project dubbed, Uchaguzi Bila Balaa is funded by the European Union through Search for Common Ground Organization and is implemented by Tana Peace Reconciliation and Development (TPRD).
“The project commenced in April and its purpose is to look at conflicts arising from election issues so that they can be resolved early, before they escalate into major disputes.
As we know the history of our county, at every election we are usually faced with conflicts for several years, except for the 2022 election, but we have put more effort so that conflicts cannot be repeated,’’ said Harrison Morowa, TPRD Programme Coordinator at a Hola hotel.
Morowa further said Tana River is synonymous with resource-based conflicts between the pastoralists and farmers since time immemorial.
“If you look at Tana River in the Coast region, apart from the radicalization issues that are rampant in Lamu, Mombasa and Kwale counties, here we have our unique conflicts which are very much caused by the use of resources and we are not fighting with outsiders but ourselves,’’ Morowa said.
He disclosed that in the mediation training they have given priority to young people and women because young people are usually on the frontline during retaliatory attacks.
The mediators shared their experiences of the conflicts that occurred in their communities and how they successfully mediated challenges encountered in the mediation, which will be incorporated into the training to equip them with more skills.
A mediator from Bangale Sub-County, Madogo ward, Rakia Godana revealed that culture impeded mediation, since all communities have their ways and laws of resolving conflicts, but added nevertheless they can surmount the challenge and successfully resolve a conflict.
“I am happy that I have gained knowledge about mediation and conflict resolution. We had a dispute in the area of Madogo, there was a robbery incident and a person was killed. It brought tension between the Orma and Munyo Yaya communities. I was able to mediate because I had undergone training,” Godana said.
By Sadik Hassan