Communication strategies in conflict resolution and management: a case study of urban slum dwellers with specific reference to Ribera slum of Nairobi, Kenya.
A purposeful study was conducted to find out communication strategies or interventions used in conflict management and resolution. The focus was on communities residing in Kibera slums, Nairobi. The results of the study revealed that interventions that are communicative in nature have not been effectively used to stem conflict in Kibera. Even after various strategies have been employed in the past the study reveals that violence is still on the increase and cuts across the genders. Almost all those who were interviewed said they have witnessed violence/ conflict occur (94.5%) and witnessed (85%) crime take place. Other underlying social problems such as unemployment and poverty are so acute that they can be said to be directly causing as well as triggering conflict along with other triggers such as politics. A staggering 87.5% of the residents in Kibera do not own houses. Only 12.5% claim house ownership. Most residents live from hand to mouth and many (62.9%) engage in unlicensed businesses to make ends meet. The study unearthed the employment status of people who live in slums such as Kibera; many of them live below the poverty line and are not engaged in any form of gainful employment. Of the unemployed section of the population, 60.6% are males and 34% are females. This shows that due to scarcity of resources and deprivation of basic needs these people are very likely to engage in violence/conflict in their struggle to survive. XIV In conclusion the study pointed out the associations between poverty, unemployment, psychosocial/ emotional well-being family life, ethnicity and politics with conflict/ violence among communities residing in Kibera slums of Nairobi. The findings suggest that community centred communication approaches be targeted at these people in order to help them understand how to propel themselves out of the ravages of violcnce/conflict by effectively communicating peace and economically empowering themselves to counter the root causes of conflict.
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