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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

During the 2007/08 PEV, Naivasha was one of the hardest hit towns due to its multiethnic population. In Kenya, Naivasha is the largest producer of flowers grown in different farms spread all over the district and which attract hundreds of thousands of workers from different ethnic backgrounds to work in them to earn a livelihood. The workers live and work harmoniously until a general election approaches and politicians manipulate them along ethnic lines. In 2007, the workers were heavily divided along ethnic lines contributing to a large extent the violence that rocked Naivasha leading to loss of life, bodily injuries, and forcing most of them to leave their jobs. This was attributed to the fact that no sensitization had been done.

This year, some of the workers, mostly women are already making plans to leave the farms for their rural homes as the general election approaches in fear of ethnic attacks that may come with the elections. This could lead to them losing their source of livelihood. With a little sensitization however, the workers shall be enlightened on the need for peaceful co-existence and how to disregard political manipulation. This will be a major contributor to peaceful elections in the district.

Agricultural Employers Association (AEA) is an umbrella association that represents the flower farm owners mainly on matters of advocacy and industrial relations. Though each farm has its own distinct leadership and organisational structure, AEA has a great influence on the policies implemented in the farms. However, the major reason for working with them is that, the flower farm owners are generally hostile to outsiders trying to mobilise the workers towards any cause unless they are consulted and deeply involved. Their main fear being that the workers could be incited to demand unreasonable terms from the employers in total disregard to the legal systems that regulate terms and conditions of employment in the sector. Further, they would support any cause that ensures that the flower production in their member farms is not disrupted as this means economic losses to them. They are thus best placed to implement this grant since they shall be the biggest beneficiaries of peaceful co-existence amongst workers in the farms. This grant seeks to enhance peaceful co-existence amongst the multi-ethnic community working in the flower farms of Naivasha.

 

IDENTIFIED NEEDS

AEA has proposed to organize activities such as sports and public barazas that bring together the workers from different ethnic backgrounds and sensitize them on the need to embrace positive ethnicity. Further, by involving the farm owners and employers as well as the workers representatives, the grant activities will impact on all the flower farm workers in Naivasha and by extension the residents of Naivasha. The grant activities hope to mitigate the political manipulation that is witnessed during each election year. 

PROJECT GOAL

Mitigating tension in flower farms by sensitizing workers on peaceful coexistence and positive ethnicity during the pre and post election periods

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

1. To address the ethnic tension and polarization amongst flower farm workers of different ethnic backgrounds in Naivasha.

2. To promote positive ethnicity and peaceful co-existence amongst flower farm workers.

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