Factors influencing conflict between communities:The case study of Orma and Pokomo communities in the Tana Delta of Tana River County, Kenya
The study was designed to examine the factors that aggravated conflicts within communities, taking a specific focus on the Orma and Pokomo communities in the Tana Delta in Tana River County. The Ormas and Pokomos have been facing quite dramatic challenges posed by various socio-economic indicators. In spite of the fact that there had been in creased deaths, loss of property and displacement of people within the area, there still exist significant differences ethnicity and the level of articulating of the fundamental issues still remain wanting. There are a large number of members of the community within Tana Delta who still live under fear, not knowing the next move that will be undertaken thus failing to make maximum utilization of their available resourced for their socio-economic well being. One of the reasons for this might be the proliferation of small weapons in the area, inadequate land tenure system, weakened traditional governance systems within the pastoral communities, emergency of cattle rustling and the ineffectiveness of the government policies. A number of initiatives have been conducted within the area by both the Government, the donor agencies, Human Rights Watch, Faith based and Non-Governmental organizations both local and international to increase awareness on conflict management and reduce fears within the communities as well as provision of material and medical support to the members within the IDPs. The literature reviewed showed the extent of the factors that influence the conflicts within the communities as stated in the conceptual framework. Reviewed literature has indicated that the communities including the government possess different characteristics and thus strengths and/or weaknesses in trying to mitigate the aforementioned challenges. The collection of data on the profile including the factors that influence conflicts gave a clear picture of how the situation was n the ground. A quantitative and qualitative descriptive design was used to study a sample of 60 stakeholders including the Provincial Administration, Non governmental organization, faith based and communities in the various sectors. In the process of answering the basic questions, a questionnaire that includes all the aspects of the study was sent to all the stakeholders and /or stakeholders nearby so that it could be shared by every respondent. A telephone follow up was made where qualitative information was gathered to complement the quantitative information availed from the questionnaire. The literature reviewed in this study, and especially my experience, suggests that lasting conflict resolution can only be achieved by the parties themselves, based on a strengthened local institutional capability (including customary institutions and local civil society organizations), and key local individuals. However, government and outside agencies have an essential role to play in creating the external conditions for such local settlements, and in supporting local institutional capability. To summarize, the government should immediately restore the security and order in the affected areas and take appropriate measures to prevent further resurgence of violence. Firm and decisive action should be called upon against the perpetrators irrespective of their standing in the society. The relevant government ministries must urgently resolve with finality the boundary disputes in various violence hotspots and establish durable mechanisms of averting drought related conflicts. This could include provision of water, humanitarian support and enforcing community driven modalities of sharing pasture during the dry season.