How County Action Plan Pillars are working towards prevention of violent extremism in Nakuru

Nakuru County Engagement Forum through County Action Plan Pillars on countering Violent extremism have continued to play key role towards a peaceful society.
The CAP pillars include Economic, Psycho Social, Media, Education, Ideological and Law enforcement.
The strides made were revealed on Wednesday February 21, 2024 when MIDRIFT HURINET held a regular forum with the Nakuru County Engagement Forum (CEF) alongside National Counter Terrorism Centre – Kenya to follow up on progress of pillar activities by the respective pillar members.
In total 29 activities have been implemented to increase community resilience on Violent Extremism.
Lesley Rono-a Research, Monitoring and Evaluation officer at MIDRIFT HURINET acknowledged that progress is being made towards the development of the National Strategy on Countering Violent Extremism and this will guide counties in the update of the respective County Action Plans.
She lauded the CAP pillars members for their role so far in matters preventing and countering Violent extremism.
“We work with CEFs in implementing County Action Plan. I must laud Nakuru for the pillars have continued to do great work towards the same trying to address issues affecting young people,” she said.
The CAP pillars are also working towards actualization of their resource mobilization strategy.

Abdulkadir Juma-a member of the Ideological Pillar addressing during the meeting.PHOTO BY JACOB KARANI.

Abdulkadir Juma is a member of the Ideological Pillar.
He points out that there is need to sensitize public on how to avert violent extremism moreso in religions.
According to him, Muslim Association Nakuru is already working towards the same.
“We need to counter narratives that are in a manner supporting terrorism and radicalization,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Education Pillar is also playing key role.

Hellen Wangari-a teacher and member of the Education Pillar addressing during the meeting.PHOTO BY JACOB KARANI.

Hellen Wangari- a teacher and member of the pillar working group reveals that they have been looking into issues affecting youth in schools.
As a way of assisting learners, the education pillar has continued to reinforce and strengthen Peace Clubs in schools.
According to Hellen who is a teacher at Kimathi Secondary School in Nakuru East Sub county, poverty and gender based violence has continued to render many youth vulnerable.
She revealed that in this year’s music and drama festivals, items on peace and security will also feature as a way of sensitization.
“We are trying to create more awareness among learners so as to reduce the pool of vulnerability among youth making them not at risk of being radicalized,” she stated.
The economic pillar also plays key role in ensuring young people are financially stable through Economic empowerment.
As Lindah Kageha from Kenya National Chamber of Commerce Nakuru Chapter puts it, an empowered youth is not vulnerable.
Linda who is a member of the economic pillar, adds that already over 400 young people in Nakuru who are at risk have been trained on financial matters and available opportunities.
“When we empower these young people, they become independent and cannot be easily recruited in criminal activities,” said Lindah.
Sentiments echoed by Grace Maritim from the National Parents’ Association.
She challenges parents to up their parental role adding that a gap in parenting can mess up a society.
“As Association of Parents, we are currently engaging teachers, youth and parents. When you see a young person engage in drugs and substance abuse, there must be something and such a young person should be listened to towards finding a solution,” she said.
Law Enforcement Pillar represented by Law Society of Kenya Nakuru Chapter’s Vice Chair Wangari Mwangi argues that every human being has rights that should be safeguarded.
The Lawyer pointed out that terrorism cuts across and as an offense has a mandatory sentence.
“We are working with other pillars towards awareness and safeguarding human rights,” she said.
But the question is what happens to a youth who has had challenges of violent extremism?

Pastor Wagallah Hodari from Psycho Social Pillar.PHOTO BY JACOB KARANI.

Well, Pastor Wagallah Hodari says, it is never late.
Under the Psycho-Social pillar, the clergy says such a young person can be taken through Psycho Social counseling sessions and try to address the issues of mental health in relation to crime.
“As a pillar we are engaging counseling psychologists on mental health issues and crime. We need Psycho Social support to our young people,” he said.
Already the pillar members have met with various teachers of the counseling departments in schools in Nakuru East and Nakuru West Sub Counties.
They will also be meeting professional counselors in Nakuru to help them understand the issues and how to handle some cases of violent extremism.
The 5 CAP pillars all depend on Media Pillar in all the activities they are doing towards a peaceful society.

Kioko wa Kivandi from Media Pillar.PHOTO BY JACOB KARANI.

Kioko wa Kivandi from Media Pillar urges the other pillars to continue engaging media Pillar on matters sensitization.

“Media is key in creating awareness and therefore should be incorporated at all levels by the other pillars,” he stated.
Kioko revealed that that as Media Pillar, countering Violent extremism narratives is key towards preventing radicalization and terrorism activities.
While pointing out that Nakuru has not experienced terrorism activities, Kioko said there are red flags such as the outlawed criminal groups such a as Mauki,WaTZ and Confirm.
“We need to be careful when we see such formation of criminal groups,” he said.
He urged journalists in Nakuru to continue highlighting stories that are meant to prevent violent extremism and radicalization of youth.
It should be noted that Media Council of Kenya has continued to capacity build Journalists on the same.
With such better collaboration among the 6 CAP pillars, then Nakuru will be a crime free zone.

Assistant County Commissioner Irene Cheptum during a presentation.PHOTO BY JACOB KARANI.

Representing the office of the County Commissioner, Irene Cheptum-Assistant County Commissioner Lanet says the beauty lies in a peaceful society.

“The CEF is one of the organs of dissemination of Information and prevention of violent extremism. As administration, we shall be happy when we see a Nakuru that is free from crime,” she said.
Also present during the forum were officials from Internal Affairs Unit and Independent Policing Oversight Authority – IPOA KENYA who sensitized the CEF on their mandate, reporting structure and how to follow up on cases.

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