During global crises, marginalized communities are the worst hit. Rural and vulnerable populations, particularly women, children, and the elderly, are among those suffering the most due to Covid-19 and its impact.
Unfortunately, in times when the Kenyan government needs to protect the fundamental human rights of its citizens, we see them violate these rights. InformAction (IFA) is using its unique community structures in the counties to find ways to disseminate vital information, coordinating with health CBOs and humanitarian agencies.
We have stopped film screening exercises and will concentrate instead on collecting video footage of police behaviour during curfew imposition, bringing necessary attention to these stories on social media. We are also working directly with communities to monitor the government response to the crisis.
In the first quarter of 2020, there were peaceful protests at the grassroots against poor public service delivery and an unresponsive leadership, which resulted in an almost immediate impact.
IFA reached over 2,500 people through 41 Film Screenings and Community Discussions, and mobilised eight Community Action Teams (CATs) across the regions.
We took the International Women’s Day (IWD) to communities where it had never been marked before, and to those who had good reason to speak out on that day.
Covid 19: IFA Takes Action
By mid May 2020, the number of confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Kenya reached 900 with numbers continuing to increase. The pandemic has shaken our healthcare system. Most of the population depend on public hospitals, which are typically underfunded and inadequately equipped
Death Flight: John Koech killed while running away from police
As the government puts in place various measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, it is important to make sure this is done within the framework of the Kenya Constitution, and with respect to human rights and dignity. Yet there has been a sharp increase of reported cases of police brutality and killings relating to the recently imposed 7pm to 5am curfew. In addition, the process of combating Covid-19 in different regions and counties has been compounded by politicization and corruption.
Discrimination in the distribution of food in Mombasa during corona
Covid-19 will continue to change how we socialize and work. IFA operates in rural and marginalized communities covering at a total of 18 counties, where people are faced with a myriad of problem exacerbated by the health crisis, ranging from limited access to basic infrastructure and poor literacy levels that spread misinformation and myths around the pandemic.
Getting Results: The Akithi Community Deliver a Second Petition in Protest
Veronica Nguta, a resident of Akithi Ward in Meru County is hoping that the road she has been using for more than 50 years will one day be passable. According to her, the Ngudune-Thinyaine-Limoro road was first graded with murram by the European Union in 2009. No maintenance has been done on the roads since then
The Sorry State of Schools: The Gananema Pre-Primary School
The Kenyan government has failed to build enough schools after introducing free education in 2003. It has forced parents to take up the task themselves. Unfortunately, this initiative comes with violation of basic building and safety regulations.
While preparing for a film screening in Kilifi County, IFA Coast Team came across Alice Mwanza at Gananema Pre-Primary School in Bamba Ward of Ganze Constituency. Alice is a volunteer teacher from the community. While doing her teacher training, which she does on a part-time basis, she devotes herself to teaching the young ones on a daily basis. She understands too well that most parents cannot afford to pay her
Water For Life, Not Profit: The Chemisimgut Dam Protest
Chemisimgut Dam was drained by Bomet County government for de-silting and expansion in July 2019; but the exercise stalled for over seven months, leaving young women and girls to walk more than 20kms daily in search of water.
The dam is located in Chebunyo Ward of Chepalungu Constituency and borders the Transmara East Constituency in Narok County. It serves over seven villages including schools, and also the neighbouring parts of Dikirr and Siongiroi during the long drought season.
My Grandfather and Me: Fighting Patriarchal Violence in Central Kenya
During 2019, the IFA Central Team have been carrying out all-women mobilizations, film screenings, post screening debates and actions. It’s through these activities that we learnt patriarchal violence was rampant in the region and permeated in all age groups.
Against this backdrop, IFA organized a community debate between men and women to mark this years International Women's Day on March 8th, in rural Kirinyaga County. The debate was titled: What men can do, women can do even better if given an equal opportunity. The aim was to start a community conversation on this years IWD theme "Each for Equal".
Women in Informal Settlement Areas in Kisumu Speak Out
A massive 62 percent of Kisumu is made up of informal settlements, followed by 41 percent in Nairobi, according to research findings published in a policy working paper of the World Bank.
This impacts the lives of countless people in Kisumu. In February and March of 2020, the IFA Western Team held a series of film screenings and community discussions in various informal settlements in Kisumu County. Most of these mobilizations attracted women-only participants. From the post-film discussions, it was evident just how much women are affected.
The construction of the new Standard Gage Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to Nairobi created a lot of hope for the residents of the Coast region and in Kenya as a whole. Many thought it would provide employment opportunities, especially in the Coastal towns.
Floods caused by heavy rains have displaced people across Kenya complicating efforts of communities to protect themselves against Covid 19. Over 200 affected people from Marura, Mwea in Kirinyaga County had to queue to register for food and shelter at Mwanya Primary School.
Less than two weeks later, they were forced to move out from Mwanya Primary School by the Local Chief, including this elderly lady. No reason was given for the forced eviction.
IFA uses film and community discussions to inform communities to fight for their rights, and inspires them to mobilize and bring change at a local and national level.
IFA operates through six mobile field teams – using a camera, projector and screen to help local communities to record important events and occurrences that affect their lives and to show films on these events and occurrences, for public information, discussion and action.