Conflict Mitigation and Civil Society in Slum Communities

The informal settlements of Kiambio, Kibera, Mathare, and Korogocho and Babadogo in Nairobi are among the area’s most vulnerable to political and ethnic manipulations. These slums contain some of Kenya’s most at-risk populations due to high unemployment, cramped living spaces, and marginalization from mainstream society. Within the slums, residents are largely sub-divided by ethnic group. Ethnic divisions are exacerbated by political and non-political issues such as access to basic services, and religious and cultural differences. The opportunity for conflict is rife, threatening the peace and prosperity promised in the new constitution.

CHF International is currently implementing the USAID-funded Kenya Tuna Uwezo program, which aims to reduce politically motivated conflict in these settlements. To achieve this, the program strengthens social networks of community members and civil society groups to collaborate productively on community issues and address grievances. Tuna Uwezo seeks to create opportunities and increase cooperative action among conflicting groups within the settlements' slums. CHF, with implementing partners PeaceNet and Kituo Cha Sheria, will engage the community through multiple channels to ensure broad community acceptance and to reduce resistance within and among identity groups. Simultaneously, CHF will build the capacity of community leaders and groups to work effectively with one another across ethnic lines and will develop the technical and organizational capacity of our local partners, thus ensuring sustainability of program activities. Launched in March 2012, the program will run until March 2014.