By Jon Hargreaves
With just over four months until Kenya goes to the polls amidst concerns that there will be election-related violence, HCR is exploring the feasibility of a new radio station in eastern Kenya's Tana Delta.
Last year we partnered with the Sentinel Project to set up a peace centre in the town of Garsen. In this interview, John Green from Una Hakika describes how rumours and misinformation are often a key driver in the conflict between different groups and how a radio station could help build peace in the region.
Since the nineteenth century, eastern Kenya's Tana River County has often been the scene of violent conflict, largely between two ethnic groups, the dominant Orma, who are nomadic cattle-herders and the Pokomo, who are farmers. Many of the disputes have been over land use and access to water, however the intensity of these conflicts has increased in recent decades. This has been fuelled by the easy access of weapons flooding across the nearby border with Somalia, growing poverty, the pressure caused by poorly managed resources and political interference. Add to that toxic mix, the extremist group Al Shebab, which is trying to destabilise Kenya and Tana River County, is at risk of descending into violent conflict.
In June 2015, HCR, helped a Hola-based community organisation, Kenya Sustainable Health Aid to establish Tana FM which is now on the air supporting the peacebuilding process in the region in the run-up to August's critical election.