INTERGRATING FOOD SECURITY INTO PEACE BUILDING: KURESOI NORTH, NAKURU COUNTY.
Daniel Kamiti is a name that resonates with many community members around Jogoo area in Kuresoi North. Humble and soft spoken but his eyes tell a story of a man who has seen it all, treading on the precipice of despair but refusing to cower and succumb to defeat.
The 2007/8 Post Election Violence (PEV) was a nightmare that he shuns from speaking about. He and his family had an epiphany about imminent danger, however they held on to hope that the distinct smell of violence propagated by men and women in the community was but a mere mirage.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the exact opposite. Upon the announcement of the presidential winner, the communities in Kuresoi North witnessed an upsurge in violence as neighbor turned on neighbor. Tribe was a basis of divergence.
Depending on whether you were Kikuyu or Kalenjin, the two predominant communities in Kuresoi North, your affiliation to either would likely have either maimed you, left you bereft of property and a home or worse still booked you a ticket to the grave.
For Daniel, he was lucky to have had his life and that of his family spared but the memory of that tumultuous season will forever be etched in his life. The violence that erupted resulted into his being reduced to a beggar. His house and property were destroyed. Additionally, he lost his brother as a result to violent attacks.
Despite the pain resulting from the atrocities of the 2007/08 PEV, Daniel had a choice to make; Either wallow in sorrow and self-pity or pick up the pieces and reinvent himself through a spirit of hope and belief that tomorrow yet holds something better for him and his family.
He chose the latter and Daniel has been able to slowly rebuild his life which explains his vociferous approach to promoting peace building and unity. Over the years, Daniel has been trained on peace building. He is a peace building champion in Kuresoi North, a key community influencer and mobilizer.
Daniel is also the chairman of Starlight Cooperative Society Management. He loves farming and is in total agreement with EPTF that the forest coverage in the community has declined over the years due to poor land management practices by the farmers. He highlights that there is need to build the capacity of the community on proper farming and land management practices for posterity purposes of the future generation.
Thus far, Daniel has offered his expertise and energy to helping EPTF mobilize farmers for the Climate Resilience Adaptability Livelihoods Project. He believes that the project will add value to the lives of the farmers and that it will further enhance unity in Kuresoi North where suspense and fear cohabit with the community members.
He has been able to rally other members of the Starlight Board of Management to help in mobilizing farmers from Kangawa, Nyakenywa and Mlima communities for the CRAL project. For Daniel, food security through farming is more than a means of livelihood; he sees it as a tool of peace promotion.