Kenyan women seek peace by starting a mixed-tribe group to grind maize to flour

Topics: Africa, Our Impact on the Ground, Violence, Bullying and Abuse Prevention
April 01, 2014

After clashes between Pokomo agriculturalists and Orma pastoralists affected Tana Delta district in late 2012, the Kenya Red Cross, through funding from the Canadian Red Cross, introduced the Tana Delta Violence Prevention Project.  

This project aims to improve knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviour to prevent interpersonal violence through advocacy and education, and to improve the capacity of the Kenya Red Cross to effectively integrate violence prevention in response and recovery programming.  Over a period of one year, it aims to reach over 77,000 people both directly and indirectly.

Income-generating activities are an important component of this project.  Included, are two mixed-tribe groups who plan to manage a maize mill to generate funds.  The communities chose to establish these mills because women currently have to walk three to five kilometres to grind their maize into flour.  These mills are intended to further increase interactions between the Pokomo and Orma people in order to develop relationships, build trust and strengthen mutual dependence between the communities.

Diramo Dido, an Orma woman and nursery school teacher, has been working towards peace initiatives since 2013 and in early 2014 was elected as the chairlady of one of the mixed-tribe women’s groups.  She says that she believes this income-generating activity will be successful as it is a small, efficient group and is run by women only.  

“The small profits can help take my children to school and help me start a business too,” she says.