Nic Hailey visits Kisumu to see how UK aid protects Kenyan women and girls from violence

Nic Hailey visits Jamii Thabiti
Nic Hailey visits the Jamii Thabiti programme. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, has spent a second day in Kisumu, seeing first hand how British funding is being used to protect Kenyan women and girls from violence.

He began the day meeting with religious leaders in Kisumu to discuss the importance of peaceful and credible elections, describing their work and leadership as “vital” via his Twitter account.

Nic Hailey is Kisumu
Nic Hailey meets religious leaders in Kisumu. Photo: Twitter/HCNicHailey

Later, the High Commissioner met and spoke to “inspirational” young police officers in Maseno who work on the UK funded Jamii Thabiti programme, protecting women and girls from violence and abuse.

Jamii Thabiti Programme

Security represents a significant challenge for Kenya with poor and marginalised Kenyans being the victims of violent attacks. Almost 500 Kenyans were killed and over 55,000 displaced due to inter-communal violence and resource conflicts during 2013.

Women and children were most affected by the brunt of sexual violence, killings, injuries, and loss of property and displacement that occurred, with a nationwide perception survey reporting that approximately 20% of respondents had been victims of crime or violence during the preceding year.

In order to address these high levels of violence the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Kenya established the Jamii Thabiti Programme, also known as the Kenya Improving Community Security Programme (ICS).

This £13.5 million, 3.5 year DFID funded problem driven programme aims to increase security and safety for men, women and children in Kenya through increasing the capacity of key institutions (such as the police and county government) to prevent and respond to violence.

The programme works to address three types of violence: criminal violence, inter- communal violence and violence against women and girls (VAWG), not only in Kisumu, but also in Bungoma, Wajir, Mandera Nakuru, Baringo, Kwale and Kilifi. Partnership agreements with at least 20 organisations at the National and county level make this work possible.

The programme brings together DFID’s work on conflict resolution, police reform and violence against women and girls in Kenya. It is designed to respond to opportunity presented by devolved government under the 2010 constitution in Kenya and will work at the national, county and local level to address specific drivers of violence and insecurity.

The impact of the programme is “increased security and safety for men, women and children in Kenya through greater capacity to prevent and respond to violence.” The Outcome is “improved safety and security institutions at national level and in 8 counties that provide more effective, accountable and responsive services to a public that is actively engaged in improving safety and security.”