As the dust of the August 2022 general election settles, communities are adapting to the impacts of the outcome of the exercise.
While some parts of the country are still in celebratory mood, other parts are still mourning the loss of the candidates they supported during the polls.
The simmering, experts say, is not conducive for development.
In the recent times, we have witnessed a gap in dialogue and conflict management between stakeholders, shareholders and duty bearers especially in political situationsOloo Janak
The Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) has since launched an initiative to bring together communities to promote dialogue.
On Thursday, KCA launched the project, Crisis Communication Chapter (CCC) Kenya, in Kisumu.
The project convened in collaboration with DW Akademie aims at providing dialogue spaces for communities.
Partnership for dialogue
It brings together multi-stakeholders partnering together to address crisis communication in Community Dialogue and Conflict Management.
KCA is an umbrella body bringing together over 500 correspondents from across the country, most of whom operate in the counties and the rural areas.
“In the recent times, we have witnessed a gap in dialogue and conflict management between stakeholders, shareholders and duty bearers especially in political situations,” said Oloo Janak, KCA Chair.
According to Mr Janak, the initiative being spearheaded by the members of the community will also help with dealing with other non-political crisis.
“Conflicts come up every day within our families, groupings and communities. And if our people are empowered on crisis communication and conflict management, they can help prevent escalation of these issues,” he added.
The CCC Kisumu Chapter is spearheaded by a team of eight members drawn from various community sectors.
Martin Siguda, the Chapter Chair said his team has since identified more people representing the various segments in the community to champion the dialogue.
Some of the sectors identified include; representatives of the National and County Governments, opinion leaders, Civil Society Organizations, religious leaders, Bunge La Wananchi, among others.
As much as the government talking about unity, the community members need to take a lead in order to make the unity calls a successMartin Siguda
“We believe without dialogue; a lot would be going on in the undertone. We believe that when people talk, they can start addressing the issues affecting them,” said Siguda.
“As much as the government talking about unity, the community members need to take a lead in order to make the unity calls a success,” he added.
Anne Ombewa, a member of the Chapter said the initiative is well timed, and targeted at the right people.
“The initiative has come at the right time. This is the time that our communities are retorted, especially after the elections, and people have a lot to talk about and generate positivity,” said Ombewa.
She added: “We are looking forward to even engaging with children in schools, since that is where cohesion begins.”
KCA and DW Akademie will support the chapter to convene community dialogue sessions, and design and distribute dialogue communication material.
“With posters, banners, t-shirts and other forms of digital and traditional communication channels, the community will be engaged to ensure that they talk to each other as a means of promoting cohesion and conflict management,” said Janak.
The project is a replica of the CCC project implemented by KCA in Kibera Slums in Nairobi to promote community response to Covid-19.
Through dialogue, Kibera residents were able to dialogue on the virus containment measures, including vaccination, maintaining hygiene, and supporting those affected by the disease.