Kenya: Real Change Through Community Leadership

Nairobi, 23. February 2019

The Community-led Development (CLD) Movement has launched on 30 January the CLD Kenya Chapter in Nairobi. Johanniter International Assistance is supporting this movement which is conformed as an alliance of civil societies seeking the widespread adoption of grassroots initiatives. Their aim is to empower communities to become the authors of their own development.

For any change to occur, a significant driving force must be behind it. Nasinyono Chief John Losikiria has been in office for more than 20 years; long enough to attest to this: “The Turkana community began benefiting from emergency aid projects in the 1980s due to a severe drought (....) In 2011, the community realized how quick and temporary those projects were.” He said this during the Community-Led Development (CLD) projects Movement Kenya Chapter launch.

This chief embodies what many humanitarian and financial aid organisations have been attempting to accomplish with their interventions in vulnerable communities. Being a member of the Turkana community, as well as a chief, he has been utilizing his unique position to champion for Community-Led Development in Nasinyono, Songot Ward in Turkana, West Sub County.

Nasinyono Chief John Losikiria

We joined hands as a community and approached AIC Health Ministries and Johanniter International Assistance who were kind enough to receive our views and use them to design the project.” Nasinyono Chief John Losikiria.

What began as an emergency relief project turned into a CLD project. This was as a result of the community, through their local senior chief, expressing their need for an intervention that would contribute to the improvement of their livelihood in the long term. Meaningful consultations with the local community members through engagement with youth leaders, relevant government officials as well as the Kraal leader (seer) informed this transformation. In addition to food insecurity, the Prosopis Julifora (Mathenge) menace was discussed as well.

Read more about the use of Mathenge in Nasinyono here

John Losikiria during CLD launch

Mathenge has covered all our grazing land. It hinders access to water. Most of the shallow wells, where the animals would drink from, are currently obstructed.”

The Turkana community, led by their chief John Losikiria, began clearing some land for agricultural purposes through a livelihood project that was implemented by AIC Health Ministries and funded by Johanniter International Assistance. Currently, Prosopis Julifora has been cleared from 300 acres of land. The Nasinyono community practice farming of watermelons, sorghum and maize. The cleared Prosopis bio-mass is used for charcoal and pole production.

Devolved government has enhanced citizens’ participation in development at the grass root level. This is by ensuring decisions made are as close to the people they are made for as possible. As John Losikiria has demonstrated that real impact can be realized, when government collaborates with the civil society and private sectors to solve shared problems.

The launch of the CLD Kenya chapter was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Non state actors seek to create strategic partnerships with the local government in Kenya and other key stakeholders, putting community members in the fore front in order to explore how to make community-led development a high priority on the development agenda. The launch was concluded by key actors pledging to further the community led development agenda by signing the CLD banner.

The Movement for Community-Led Development

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