Restoring Peace through Peace dialogues in Leparua.

23-04-2020

Leparua community is located on the southern east of Isiolo town a distance of approximately 36 kilometres from Isiolo town. Its inhabitants are majorly the Dorobo community of the Ogieks’ communities in Kenya. The community has practiced hunting and gathering for decades, whereas the Samburu have exercised pastoralism as their main source of livelihood. In the recent past there has been diversification of livelihood sources to include among them , small scale farming, bee keeping and village saving and lending associations through support of development projects from Caritas Isiolo and other development partners in the county. The community is considered politically marginalized due to its location in the county and population size. The community neighbours the Samburu clan who are purely pastoralists who have been the major adversaries’ years. Speaking to Mzee Legei (62yrs) Inter community conflicts between Dorobo and Samburu communities have long existed for decades now. These have been fuelled by revenge mission for unresolved issues from the past for instance, cattle theft, land boundaries and scramble for watering points. This has always resulted to loss of lives, cattle, and destruction of properties/infrastructure. Through CAFOD’s Isiolo Integrated Food security and Livelihoods (IFSP) Caritas Isiolo organized dialogues sessions, peace meetings in Mlango and Leparua Areas and a Joint peace caravan with the county government in Kipsing. ‘’These meetings have built peace in the area, my people feared travelling to the other side of Kipsing of fears of being killed. We could not access supplies or the market,’’ notes Mr. Salmet Kitonga, the assistant chief Leparua sub location. ‘’We have established grazing conservancies with their committees, headed by clan elders. These committees regulate and manage the rangeland resources for the communities. Anyone who wishes to access a given grazing zone must seek approval from the committees. Since their establishment we have seen reduction in the number of conflicts in the areas.’’ Says Simon Endonga, former senior chief Burat location. We are all brothers and sisters, we need not to forget that we are all children of the same God, and theft is a sin. We are committed to honouring agreements signed between us and ensure we end any form of conflicts In the future so that our children live in harmony, says mama Lekiliara- (67 years). The meeting between the morans of the two communities will put to end cattle rustling which for decades has been the main cause conflicts here, notes Boniface Kiama Mugo a teacher at Leparua primary school. We have established a peace club in the school to preach peace to the community through pupils as the peace ambassadors. You can see students playing together, something that never used to happen before, say teacher Hellen Njeri (Head teacher, Leparua Primary) pointing to playing volley balls on the volley ball pitch. We have also established a boarding facility in the school so that students can have enough time in school instead on getting time to engage in negative practices like cattle rustling. We thank the Caritas Isiolo, and the whole Catholic diocese of Isiolo, for supporting us identify other alternative sources of livelihoods i.e. agriculture which have seen development of peace in the area. Author: Lamech Onyari. Role: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Communication Officer. Organization: Caritas Isiolo. Date: 15th January 2020.