Kenya Clashes - Appeal AFKE82

Originally published

Appeal Target : US$ 308,509
Geneva, March 3, 1998

Dear Colleagues,

Several hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced due to violent clashes in the Rift Valley Province and other parts of Kenya.

Sources maintain that the recent wave of clashes between the different ethnic groups, including the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities, which started in August/September 1997 and came to a head in December 1997 after the General Elections, are politically motivated.

Reports state that the government has done little to contain the clashes and in most cases the law has been a mute witness to the killings.

These clashes have ocurred at a time when Kenya is already stricken with food crisis due to severe floods in the past few months. To make matters worse, diseases such as malaria and cholera have been rampant, adding to the woes of the suffering masses. As is often the case in Kenya and elsewhere, victims have rushed to churches and church compounds seeking refuge, thereby imposing an additional burden on the churches scarce resources.

ACT-NCCK has been in the forefront of addressing underlining causes as well as assisting clash victims through its Peace & Rehabilitation Project since 1992. ACT-NCCK, with support from ACT members Dutch Interchurch Aid and Lutheran World Federation / Department of World Service, proposes to provide relief aid to 6,000 families from among those seriously affected by the current violence.

Please kindly send your contributions to the ACT bank account.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit an application for EU funding, and the subsequent results.

We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

For further information, please contact:

ACT Co-ordinator, Miriam Lutz (phone 41 22 791 6032 or mobile phone ++ 41 89 203 6055)
ACT Appeals Officer, Neville Pradhan (phone +41 22 791 6035)

ACT Web Site address:

Rev. Myra Blyth
Miriam Lutz
ACT Co-ordinator
Rev. Rudolf Hinz
LWF/World Service

Request is submitted by Dutch Interchurch Aid and LutheranWorld Federation/Department of World Service, in Kenya.


The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)/Peace and Rehabilitation Project.

The National Council of Churches of Kenya was founded in 1908 as an umbrella organisation of Christian Churches in Kenya. Ever since its foundation the NCCK has been at the forefront in the country’s development - spiritually, economically and politically. The role of the NCCK has been consistent, meaning that through the years the NCCK has been pleading for a more open and democratic society. Even in the recent debate concerning constitutional reforms in Kenya, the NCCK has played an active role.

ACT-NCCK has been an active player with respect to the clash victims from the very beginning in 1992, when it conducted an active research into the origin and nature of the clashes, which took place in May/June 1992. The outcome confirmed that the violence was politically instigated. The NCCK started a relief and rehabilitation project for the victims of ethnic clashes after a visit of the Dutch Minister of Development Cooperation, who assessed the situation and felt the need to give support to the NCCK to cater for the needs of the victims of ethnic violence. This project has continued up to date and presently is in the 3rd phase of it’s existence. It is known as the NCCK Peace and Rehabilitation Project and is based in Eldoret.

In terms of reporting lines the NCCK Peace and Rehabilitation Project is under the Emergencies Desk of the Development Unit. In addition there are functional linkages between the Project and other Departments and Desks within the NCCK.


The recent clashes which have affected Laikipia, Njoro/Molo and other parts of the country started in the aftermath of the 1997 General Elections. More than 100 people have been killed and thousands of families are displaced. As before, these clashes seem to be politically motivated and instigated by local political leaders.

As a result of these recent clashes, tension has grown tremendously in many other areas, especially in those areas where ethnic communities are mixed. Threats and counter threats are rife amidst rumours of potential attacks and revenge - a situation which can easily lead to more violence.

It is so far uncertain as to what the role of the national government is, as it has been seen to do little to stop the violence from happening. In Laikipia and Njoro the Government sent more security personnel but they were only spectators and did nothing to restore security in the area nor to arrest the culprits. However, in the Burnt Forest area the Provincial Administration acted promptly to address the situation by arresting some of the perpetrators and beefing up security.

It is unclear whether these clashes will continue and to what extent. In the meantime, the victims of the clashes need assistance and preparatory measures need to be put in place in case new clashes occur.

The clashes

The recent wave of politically motivated violence started with the clashes in Likoni in August/September last year, followed by Migori/Gucha/Kuria/Trans Mara and Tot in December 1997. After the elections Laikipia, Njoro/Molo, Burnt Forest and Chagaiya were also targetted.

While a number of factors have contributed to increased tension, the real truth and the reasons behind the clashes is very hard to establish. However, it is evident that inciting statements by politicians caused the clashes to spark off. Analysis reveals the following possible factors:

  • The general elections showed a voting pattern, which clearly indicated that people cast their votes according to tribal lines. This has made it very easy to identify who was voting for the opposition and who voted for the ruling party;

  • Before the elections started, expectations were high within the various communities and there were open incitements from one community towards the other about what would happen in case they win the elections and the Presidency;

  • Local politicians, in order to secure their election, threatened members of other communities about what might happen to them if they did not vote for them. Some of these threats now seem to be implemented, by both the winners and losers;

  • After elections the Democratic Party Presidential candidate Mwai Kibaki did not accept the outcome of the Presidential elections, and filed a court case to ask for nullification of the election results. This created a lot of tension among the Kalenjin community, who had just seen their President Moi being re-elected. The Kikuyu community who had largely supported the Democratic Party candidate Kibaki were therefore targeted by the Kalenjins because of this court case;

  • After it was clear that Kibaki was going to court, senior KANU leaders made statements that nullification of the election would be unacceptable to the Kalenjin community and that the Kalenjin community would take stern measures to prevent this from happening.

Among some of the other explanations about why the clashes started are:
  • A machinery put in motion by KANU in case the elections were lost, could not be stopped anymore and/or was exploited by local politicians;

  • A red herring to distract attention from the constitutional reforms process that is soon to begin;

  • A way to establish federalism and establish a separate Rift Valley State.

  • Revenge against those who voted for the opposition.

However these and other explanations are speculative and can not be proven. Still, reasons are being sought to explain why the clashes started, who is behind them and who can possibly benefit from a cycle of violence, where it is obvious that thus far there have only been losers! as all the communities involved have suffered great losses.

A brief overview of the affected areas follows:

Ethnic violence took place in Likoni, in Mombasa in August/September 1997, where people from upcountry were told to leave the Coast area. About 100 people were killed, 1000 families displaced and approximately 100,000 people left the area altogether. Relief support was given by the Catholic Church, Kenya Red Cross, MSF France and others.

The NCCK Peace and Rehabilitation project forwarded a proposal to the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation to start up a 6 months pilot project, similar to the Eldoret Peace and Rehabilitation Project, focusing mainly on peace and reconciliation in the Coast Province. The Project is yet to be approved.

There were two periods of violence in Tot in 1997. The first one took place between April-July and the second around November/December. In both cases the clashes were a result of cattle rustling when the Marakwet community was raided by the Pokots. Revenge activities in combination with incitements of local politicians trying to take advantage of the violence, aggravated the situation. During the first clashes 20 people were killed, 523 houses were burnt and about 6000 families displaced. During the second clashes about 25 people were killed, 50 houses demolished and again approximately 6000 families displaced. This situation still lingers on.

The Project provided relief support to 10,289 families displaced people during the first clashes for which it raised more than 6 million Ksh. Kenya Red Cross was prepared to repeat the exercise at the time of the second clashes for the same families. ACT-NCCK and the Kenya Red Cross joint relief food distributions in Tot have taken place during the months of January/February 1998.

Migori/Gucha - Migori/Kuria - Gucha/Trans Mara
Clashes broke out in three different areas just before the elections and here it was obviously politically motivated. People were evicted across district borders to prevent them from participating in the election process. In Migori/Gucha there was a border problem affecting the Luo and Kisii communities. Migori/Kuria had a similar problem which affected the Luo and Kuria communities.

In the Trans Mara area problems of cattle rustling and marginalisation of the Masai were exploited by the politicians. Hundreds of houses were burnt and a few thousand families were displaced. The project organised the local churches to do peace and reconciliation work and provided relief food to 995 families. After these clashes the Project decided to add the area to the Projects’ area of operation. An Area Coordinator is now based there and has started to set up local area peace committees.

More than 50 people were killed, 77 houses burnt and 1500 families displaced when clashes took place immediately after the elections between the Samburu and the Kikuyu in the beginning of January 1998. The clashes started after sporadic incidents of cattle rustling. A detailed report about these clashes, prepared by the Projects’ Information Officer is available.

Only a few days after the clashes in Laikipia, new clashes erupted in Njoro/Molo area, claiming the lives of another 50 people. The affected communities were the Kikuyus and the Kalenjin. Around 300 houses have been burnt so far and more than 5000 families are displaced. As in Laikipia the Government was slow to act and seemed reluctant to provide sufficient security, which made it possible for the clashes to continue.

Burnt Forest/Lorian
Violence here started on 7 February 1998 by 10 local Kalenjin youth, who after watching a football match and drinking too much alcohol started torching houses of the Kikuyu community. About 30 houses were burnt, all belonging to Kikuyus, except for two that belonged to the Kalenjin community. Leaders from both communities acknowledged that this was not a planned clash, but instigated from outside.

Still, the violence was ethnically based and most probably a result of the increased tension in the area. The people from Lorian moved away to nearby centres. The Project is organising relief assistance and large scale peace and reconciliation activities in cooperation with the Provincial Administration. The area is inside the Projects’ area of operation. A separate report is available. Peace and reconciliation activities have already started.

18 houses were burnt on 7 February in an obviously planned attack, which seems to be a spill-over of the Njoro and Laikipia skirmishes. While figures are yet to be established, it is known that again many people were displaced. A separate report is available. Shelter material and food will be supplied. Peace and reconciliation activities have already started.


The NCCK Peace and Rehabilitation Project has been active ever since the 1992/1993 clashes, to assist clash victims in providing relief and rehabilitation support, but more important to organise peace and reconciliation activities to prevent fresh clashes in the ten project areas. Now that clashes are occurring outside these areas but still threaten peace in the areas of operation, the Project would like to make provisions for dealing with the current situation to contain and prevent further spread of violence.

The Project will avail its expertise in both emergency interventions and peace and reconciliation work. Wherever other organisations or Churches are active the Project will seek close cooperation, especially with the Catholic Church, which has been very active thus far in Laikipia and Njoro.

The project therefore aims at assisting victims of ethnic violence in the country and to promote peace and reconciliation activities among the conflicting communities.

Activities include coordination with other NGOs, provision of food, non-food items and shelter to clash victims as well as promoting peace and reconciliation activities.


The NCCK Peace and Rehabilitation Project carried out assessments immediately after clashes broke out in various areas. Reports of the Project’s Information Officer on the situations in Laikipia/Njoro and Burnt Forest/Lorian/Chagaiya are available upon request.

All affected areas are in the Rift Valley Province except the Migori clashes which ocurred on the borders of Rift Valley and Nyanza Provinces. All the areas are rural in character where members of various ethnic communities have been living together. In the recent clashes in December and January more than 100 people were killed and approximately 20,000 families/120,000 people displaced.

Although the Kenya Government keeps records of the number of people killed in the various clashes there are no official statistics released. The unofficial Government figures are a bit lower than the ones gathered by the NGO's.

The affected areas are currently still very tense, despite the fact that the Government has sent more security personnel. These security men did not do anything during the clashes to protect the people or arrest the aggressors. So there is no confidence in the security personnel, who also generally are composed of one ethnic community. Laikipia and Nakuru/Njoro area have been called security zones and there is a curfew during the night. However the refugee camps and centres are accessible.

Food is available in some of the affected areas as people were able to secure some of the food they had in store, especially in Laikipia and Njoro/Molo. However, the displaced are selling their food quickly to get cash to cater to their immediate needs, which may lead to food problems in the near future.

Lack of medicines and absence of clean water and hygiene are being addressed by MSF, Kenya Red Cross and the Catholic Church.

About 500 houses were burnt in the various locations and all stored food destroyed while community structures were only marginally affected. There were no crop losses as the clashes took place in the dry season. However, the planting season is about to start and as a result of displacement, little or no cultivation will take place, leading to food shortages in the future.


The Project aims to assist 6,000 families during a period of 6 months using the following criteria for relief interventions:

  • the beneficiaries are displaced and in a camp situation;
  • where applicable all affected ethnic communities should benefit equally;
  • food distribution will only be done after needs assessment;
  • relief items will only be given to those who did not receive from other organisations;
  • proper registration and verification of registration is done with women as heads of households;
  • relief items are distributed to heads of households only.

The main criteria for peace and reconciliation activities is that all affected communities are involved. Language should be neutral and various groups should be targetted, including women, youth, community leaders, elders, chiefs and others.

For all relief items the project has targetted 6,000 families, except for the blankets, because the Catholic Church and MSF are able to provide quite a number of them. Therefore the project aims to serve only 3,000 families with blankets.


ACT-NCCK will assist clash victims in all the affected areas and will be prepared to render assistance also in areas that may be affected by clashes in the near future.

While the Project has the capacity to assist in all the affected areas, it has been decided that:

  • Where other organisations are active the Project will participate in coordination meetings,
  • Will only take a leading role where requested, and
  • Where other NGO’s or Churches are leading, the Project will take an assisting role.

It is only in the field of peace and reconciliation that the project will take the lead in all areas since it the the only one in Kenya which is providing those services and has the expertise to do so. Other organisations have all accepted and welcomed that role.

Other organisations assisting the clash victims are (lead agencies are underlined):

Kenya Red Cross/Catholic Church/Action Aid/MSF and (in future) NCCK;
NCCK/P&R Project/ Kenya Red Cross/Catholic Church/World Vision/Christian Children Fund/MSF;
NCCK/P&R Project/ Catholic Church and possibly (in future) Kenya Red Cross;
Catholic Church/Kenya Red Cross/ MSF/NCCK P&R Project;
Catholic Church/NCCK P&R Project/MSF/Kenya Red Cross;
NCCK P&R Project/ Catholic Church;
NCCK P&R Project/ Catholic Church.
Temporary shelter (life preserving)
The Project will provide the following temporary shelter material to each family: 8 building posts, 12ftx15ft piece of polythene sheeting and 3 kg of building nails.

Food and/or nutritional assistance (life preserving)
Each family will receive: 22.5 kg of maize, 4 kg of beans, 2 kg of cooking fat and 0.5 kg of salt. In the highly productive rural setting where the displaced are camping, this amount of food will be sufficient to sustain a displaced family for one month.

Beddings and clothing (life preserving)
2 blankets per family will be provided to those who are needy. Sanitary towels and women underwear are also part of the package that will be provided.

Food preparation, kitchen, cooking, eating utensils (life sustaining)
Every family will receive 5 plates, 5 cups, 1 barsoap, 1 watercontainer (20lts). Pans are not necessary as most of the displaced have salvaged them from their deserted homes.

Other assistance (life saving / life rehabilitating)
Peace and reconciliation activities are organised to prevent new clashes in an area and to create an enabling environment for resettlement of the displaced. In 6 different areas outside the current area of operation, the Project will station a Peace Facilitator who will organise 60 good neighbourliness seminars, 6 ‘ barazas ’ (local community meetings) to address the general populace on peace issues and one Provincial Administrators’ workshop in the area.


The Project will not hire any additional personnel for relief interventions but will work with the already existing staff who are experienced in relief distribution. The Project will however hire 6 full time peace facilitators for a period of 6 months to implement peace and reconciliation activities in the affected areas. These peace facilitators are already trained by the Project.

No field offices or stores are needed. Existing facilities of ACT-NCCK member churches or partners in the relief exercise will be used.

Transport for the distribution of relief items will be hired while the project’s own vehicles will be used for staff movements. Fuel will be covered from the project’s existing budget and not from the Appeal funds. There are no pre-positioned relief items, hence all items will have to be purchased locally.

Project implementation methodology for relief distribution:

  • Beneficiaries will be registered in close cooperation with member churches, other relief agencies and the Provincial Administration;

  • Verification of names will be done by project staff;

  • Lists of beneficiaries will be computerised and sorted in alphabetical sequence. ID numbers, names and other information will be checked for duplications;

  • Coordination concerning the needed relief items will be done with other relief agencies;

  • Relief items will be bought locally at competitive prices. If items are too expensive locally they will be transported from outside the area;

  • The project does not make use of central stores. Generally items are picked up directly from the suppliers, therewith reducing the expense of storage and the risks of thefts;

  • Relief items are taken on the day of distribution and temporarily stored in a secure place;

  • Distribution will take place in cooperation with local administration and beneficiary committees under the supervision of project staff;

  • Beneficiaries are given a token after their identity has been verified on the registration list; Beneficiaries sign before receiving the token. With the tokens they can collect the various relief items. Tokens are collected at the end of the collection line and checked against the registration list;

  • A distribution report is made of every distribution, establishing the number of items distributed and possible losses. An overall final report will be prepared at the end of the 6 months period.

Project implementation methodology for peace and reconciliation activities

The Peace and Reconciliation Coordinator will visit the affected areas and establish working relations with churches and NGOs who know the local situation. These ‘Implementing partners’ will be sensitized on their role in peace making and will be requested to organize peace meetings in cooperation with a peace facilitator seconded by the project to the area. These meetings (good neighborliness seminars) will first be organized separately for each of the communities in conflict and later the communities will be brought together to discuss their differences.

Joint activities will be encouraged and follow-up seminars will be organized to increase interaction and mutual understanding and with the intention to create a situation where rehabilitation and resettlement will be possible. In addition the Project will support the Provincial Administration to organise some peace ‘ barazas ’ and in every affected area the Project will organise a special workshop for the Administrators to sensitize them on their role in peace making.

ACT-NCCK will be responsible for the overall implementation with responsibility of the relief interventions and peace and reconciliation activities entrusted to the respective Project Coordinators.

Procurement and logistics is organised by the Finance and Administration Office, which will work according to the guidelines of ACT-NCCK.

The Project will write an overall narrative and financial report about the utilisation of the funds within two months after the end of the project period. This report will be submitted to ACT-DIA, who will in turn forward it to the ACT Coordinating Office and other donors as required.

ACT-DIA has performed an advisory and monitoring role on behalf of the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation with regard to the implementation of the NCCK Peace and Rehabilitation Project since January 1994. A full time Technical Advisor is seconded to the project to carry out those duties. At the same time DIA’s Project Officer for theHorn of Africa monitors the implementation through regular field visits. DIA is also responsible for the final report. Since the activities as outlined in the appeal will also be implemented by the same project, DIA will extend its advisory and monitoring role to the additional activities under the Appeal.

As part of the overall cooperation, ACT-LWF/DWS will send a staff member to Laikipia and Njoro in June/July to assist in reporting on project implementation and outcomes.

Financial management system:

  • Decisions about the implementation of project activities are taken by the Project Coordination Team comprised of the Project Coordinator, the Technical Advisor, the Peace and Reconciliation Coordinator, the Assistant Peace and Reconciliation Coordinator and the Information Officer.

  • Decisions are forwarded to the Project’s Finance and Administration Office which is responsible for procurement and logistics. For procurement over Ksh 3 million a tender procedure has to be followed while for all other purchases at least 3 quotations have to be solicited from various suppliers.

  • Local purchase orders have to be signed by the Project Coordinator and cheques signed by both the Project Coordinator and the Technical Advisor.

  • The financial administration of the project is subject to quarterly internal audits of the NCCK, annual external audits (Gill & Johnson) and regular value for money audits (Price Waterhouse).


The emergency relief interventions for clash victims are planned to take place from 15th February till 14th August 1998 and as such activities have already started. ACT-NCCK has attended various coordination meetings, provided relief assistance in Burnt Forest and Chagaiya and is preparing major assistance programs to victims outside the project’s immediate area.


The Appeal was prepared after close consultations with representatives of other ACT members in Kenya which include Christian Aid, Danchurchaid, Dutch Interchurch Aid and the Lutheran World Federation/Department of World Service. The meeting took place on 15th February 1998 in Nairobi wherein it was decided that LWF and DIA would be the applying agencies on behalf of the NCCK and that DIA would take the responsibility of closely monitoring the program.

Coordination in the affected areas takes place through regular Coordination meetings, organised in most cases, either by the Catholic Church or the NCCK Peace and Rehabilitation Project, depending on the area. The division of tasks and contributions to the relief exercise are discussed at those meetings.

The Government is neither involved in any relief exercise, nor coordinating relief efforts. Nevertheless, the Government does not seem to have any problem with the relief interventions that have taken place as long as they are kept informed. The Project seeks close cooperation with the Provincial Administration in peace and reconciliation work.


The ACT Coordinating Office provided a Rapid Response Fund of US $25,000 for emergency relief measures. Apart from ACT, the proposal has been submitted to the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi. The Project will keep all potential donors involved about pledges and income.

The budget is based on a full relief package for 6,000 families. However, there is need for flexibility as some families may not need all the items or may receive part of the assistance from other NGOs. In which event the fund will be used to cater for a larger number of families.


Type of Unit
Number of Units
Cost/Unit Kshs
Total Kshs
Total USD
Relief Items
Food items - 6,000 families, one month
90kg bag
90kg bag
Vegetable oil
2kg tin
0.5kg Packet
Sub Total
Non-food items - 6,000 families
Jerrycan (20 ltrs)
Sanitary towels
Sub Total
Shelter - 6,000 families
Polythene 20sq mtrs
Sub Total
Peace & Reconciliation Activities - all affected areas
Good neighbourliness seminars
Administrators Workshops
Sub Total
Administration & Personnel - 6 months
Salaries and support
Peace Facilit.
Field allowances
Peace Facilit.
Overhead DIA
Reporting LWF/DWS
Sub Total
GRAND TOTAL - Requested from ACT

Appeal Number: AFKE82

Appeal Name: Kenya Clashes

Date Issued: 03 March, 1998

Project Completion Date: 15 August, 1998

Project Description: Several hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced due to politically motivated violence in the Rift Valley Province and other parts of Kenya in recent months. ACT-NCCK, with support from ACT members DIA and LWF/DWS proposes to provide relief aid in the form of food, non-food items and shelter materials to 6,000 affected families. More importantly, the project will undertake peace and reconciliation activities, in which it has several years of experience.

Implementing Partner
Activity Description

Appeal Target (USD)
Food, non-food items, Shelter materials, Peace & Reconciliation.

*** Pledges can be communicated to ACT by using the Appeal Pledge Form ***

ACT - Action by Churches Together
Account Number: 102539/0.01.61
Banque Edouard Constant
Cours de Rive 11
Case postale 3754
1211 Genève 3


(Please fax to the ACT Co-ordinating Office - Fax:++41 22 791 6506)

Appeal Name: Kenya Clashes
Appeal Number: AFKE82

Appeal Target: US $ 308,509
Project Completion Date: 15 August,98

Contributing organization: ........................................
Telephone number:..............................

Contact person: ..........................................

1. Contributions to the ACT bank account: 102539/0.01.61
Other Details
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Transfer Date
and Source of Funding
eg Own Funds, Government, Other
2. Contributions direct to an implementing partner:

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Transfer Date
3. Applications to back donors - Governments, ECHO, etc:

Made to
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