Resource 6: Conflict in the community

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

Once there was a big fight that took place among the three cultural groups in Laikipia district, a village community by the main road. It led to the killing of members of different cultural groups and this affected the community very badly.

The three groups were the Samburus, who were cattle rearers, the Somalis, who were traders, and the Kikuyus, who drove the taxis and transport. The fight started between the traders and the taxi and transport drivers, and spread from there.

The Somalis said that the Kikuyus were charging them too much money for transporting goods, and the Kikuyus said that the Somalis were charging them too much for fuel to run their vehicles.

First, there was a strike by the Kikuyus and then the Somalis stopped selling them fuel and goods. One day, there was a fight between a taxi driver and a trader in the market. Then all the Kikuyus went to the market to break the stalls, and a big fight started.

After this, the Kikuyus and the Somalis started attacking each other’s compounds. They were badly hit. People were killed and property was lost. The families of both groups ran to their homelands for safety.

At first, the Samburus were not as badly affected because they were in their homeland and they were in the majority. But the fight continued for another day, and they got involved.

The sad news soon reached the home areas of the Kikuyus and the Somalis about the troubles in the Samburus areas. The home people descended on the Samburus in their own communities, killing their cattle. In some places, the cattle rearers were killed too.

For days, there was no peace. Meat was not available in the home areas of the Kikuyus and the Somalis because the Samburus had left. At Nyahururu, no taxicabs were on the streets. The market was empty because stalls were destroyed and no other foodstuff and meat could be brought in.

The leaders of the different communities in Laikipia called for meetings and addressed all the cultural groups. They showed the people how they all needed one another for the community to operate well. They explained how they should learn to listen to the views of one another, and be tolerant of one another, because there is a lot to gain from one another.

Then they sat with the representatives of the different communities and discovered the root cause of all this trouble. They discussed the problems associated with the conflict, found a solution and made peace between the people.

Resource 5: Intercultural communities

Section 3: Ways of taking responsibility