Barut Ward, Nakuru: Residents call for immediate action to address perennial Human-Wildlife Conflict

Barut Ward, Nakuru: Residents call for immediate action to address perennial Human-Wildlife Conflict

On 29th November 2017, Sauti Yetu together with identified community based organization, organized a joint community forum in Barut Ward Primary School in Barut Ward, Nakuru West Sub County. The organization that took lead in organizing the community dialogue forum included: Barut Residents Association, Barut Community Health Organization (BACHO), Mwariki elders and Muungano ya Wanavijiji
The Joint Community Forum aimed at creating a platform where duty bearers and right holders came together to identify priority issues and to find a common ways of addressing them, The forum brought together residents from various villages of Barut Ward, Famers, Community leaders, Community groups, Local Administration, Individuals and Representative from the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS).
Member of County Assembly, Ward Administrator and Representative from the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) sent apologies.

The forum was preceded by a meeting between the representatives of community group and the Sauti yetu team to harmonies ‘and guide on the days’ program, David Kahoro   the community moderator from Barut resident introduced the participants and agenda of    the day. Together with Sauti yetu team the moderator took the participant through previous identified issues and challenges faced in addressing these issues, the residents were invited to compliment the issue presented by contributing any additional issues that may be overlooked.

The community members identified and prioritized key issues within their ward.  These included;

Environment and Human Wildlife Conflict

  • The pollution of  River Njoro
  • Invasion of  farms by army worms
  • A dysfunctional consultative committee for human wildlife conflict that due to lack of sessions between the KWS and the community
  • Lack of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from the wildlife service in the ward

Governance - Public Participation

  • Funds proposed by resident for construction of a market during the FY 2016/17 budget cycle could not be traced
  • Funds proposed by residents for the FY 2017/18 budget cycle for construction of a bride had not been released

Health

  • A proposed health center had not yet been constructed despite allocation in the current FY budget

Infrastructure

  • The road reserve has been encroached yet money had been allocated in previous FYs by the National Government
  • A street lighting project initiated in the last FY had stalled

Education

  • Lack of qualified teachers in the area

Duty bearers in attendance were invited to respond to community concerns and together with the right holders come up with the way forward.

The Kenya Wildlife Services (KWA) Representative, M/S Nancy Akinyi the Lake Nakuru National Park, Which border Barut Ward began by introducing Kenya Wildlife Services their mandate and coverage of Lake Nakuru National Park, She outlined previous Human Wildlife Conflict areas and the mention, she pinpointed the new Legislation on Wildlife (Wildlife Act 2013), she pointed out that the act encompassed several proposals from the public including Compensation on damage caused by wildlife.

She outlined the process of Compensation in case of such damage and the committee in charge. However, apes, baboons, monkeys and moles are not included within the category that attract compensation in case of damage, she appealed to the community to exercise responsibility during construction, animal rearing and waste disposal to minimize  the Baboon Menace. In her closing remarks, she impressed on the communities to lobby a review of the Legislation through the necessary Legislative bodies. KWS officer accepted invitation to attend a larger hematic forum that had been organized to address the common issue shared by different wards in the area

Assistant Chief Oyawa outlined the issues of birth registration for children born around the sub-location.  The Sr. Chief Kering spoke on the need to improve on the communication channel especially on initiatives by the National government.  On the issue of grabbing of road reserves, he promised to take drastic action on the grabbers.

The forum led to the formation of Community Action Group (CAG) comprised of community members who had previously volunteered to follow up on community issues. The CAG was charged with the responsibility of initiating follow action with the relevant duty bearers and institutions on priority issues identified in the Ward.

 

Figure 1: Senior Chief Mr. Keering Addressed Members of Community during Sauti Yetu Accountability Forum at Barut Ward

 

Figure 2: Residents of Barut Ward in Nakuru West Sub County following proceeding during Sauti Yetu Accountability Forum