Humanitarian aerospace is one of the cutting-edge fields in which the Sentinel Project operates, through its subsidiary initiative Sarus Humanitarian Aerospace. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and commonly called drones, can be widely used for peaceful, humanitarian, and environmental protection purposes. Making use of the technical abilities of drones enables non-government organizations to access areas that are unsafe or off limits to their personnel.
Preparing for elections
Prior to the August general election, Amani FM invited Steven Karani, the district returning officer of Tana Delta, to the studio so that he could educate community members on the voting process and requirements for one to vote. The studio then opened the phone lines for listeners to call in and ask questions about the election.
The Una Hakika rumour management system has long been a core part of the Sentinel Project’s work in Kenya. Seeing the negative effects of false information led us to create this mobile phone-based information service but also highlighted the need for other types of media in places like Tana Delta, where our work began. When we first started Una Hakika in 2014, one of our first steps was to conduct a survey about things like how people in the area received and shared information.
As the twilight begins in a Tana Delta village, someone awakes and steps outside to answer the call of nature. She stops, then turns to run back to her hut, panting and trembling. “I have seen them. Three armed men are crossing our village.” Those few words ignite like wildfire and before long the whole village is engulfed in fear and tension. Schools and hospitals will shut their doors while businesses come to a gridlock.
Sentinel has launched a civilian protection pilot project in partnership with at-risk communities in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Called Kijiji Cha Amani (Swahili for ‘peace village’), the project focuses on establishing safe zones for civilian populations, effective prevention measures, and violence mitigation.
Between August 2012 and January 2013, the Tana Delta area of eastern Kenya experienced a series of massacres between the Orma and Pokomo ethnic groups. The killings took the lives of an estimated 166 people and displaced tens of thousands from their homes. The violence impacted both the local economy as well as other ethnic groups living in the area and left a lasting rift between the Orma and Pokomo.
November 17, 2016 | Drew Boyd
The Sentinel Project recently completed a study of information and misinformation in the Mandalay region of Myanmar as part of setting up our Peaceful Truth project. This project grew out of our successful Una Hakika initiative in Kenya, which has demonstrated the value of engaging communities to help monitor and counter harmful rumours and misinformation in conflict regions with the goal of stemming further violence and contributing to local stability.