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Urban violence in Nakuru, Kenya

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A research report on root causes, risk factors and preventive strategies. Research by Midrift Hurinet and the Danish Institute Against Torture (DIGNITY).

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Urban violence in Nakuru, Kenya

  1. 1. URBAN VIOLENCE IN NAKURU, KENYA A research report on root causes, risk factors and preventive strategies SUMMARY - MAY 2016
  2. 2. Objectives The main objective of the study is to establish knowledge of the current report on violence, prevalence, actors and existing prevention mechanisms and roles of other relevant actors in the municipality. Specific Objectives i. The study is to identify root causes, mechanisms and dynamics, general risk factors and protective factors and settings associated with urban violence. ii. The study is to identify vulnerable groups (at risk groups and victim categories) iii. The study is to identify factors that increase or decrease the probability of becoming a victim of violence. iv. The study is to identify factors that increase or decrease the probability of becoming a perpetrator of violence. Methodology The study involved the collection, analysis and use of primary and secondary data. It used a mixed methods approach, by involving both qualitative and quantitative methods. A quantitative household survey was developed to obtain an overall view of the four sites in Nakuru, respectively, Kaptembwa, Bondeni, London and Free Area. Questionnaires were distributed to 680 households that were randomly sampled. Furthermore, there were Focus Group Discussions (FDGs) and semi- structured interviews with Key Informants (KI) as well as incidence reporting from police stations and hospitals in Nakuru. Data was collected from December - January 2016. Data from these sources were triangulated to improve understanding of the dynamics of urban violence and of collective and individual responses. Triangulating the survey data with qualitative data allowed for a richer picture of the experience of violence in the studied communities. Data analysis of the quantitative data was done by SPSS using both descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations as well as logistical regression. Socio-Demographics 49% of the sampled respondents were male and 51% were female. The majority of the respondents in the survey were between the ages of 27-35 recording 28% (n=190), followed by those between the ages of 18-26, at 23% (n=155). 31% of the respondents had reached secondary school as their highest education level. Majority of the respondents, 52% (n=354) earn between Ksh.0-10000 monthly/household level. Only 20% had ownership of their house.
  3. 3. Experience with violence 63% of the respondents had experienced violence in the last 12 months. From the table below, respondents shared life time events with violence exposure within the household and neighborhood. Majority of the respondents, 92% had experienced beating in the neighborhood as well as extortion 70% and intimidation and shooting at respectively 80% and 83%. In the household child neglect and abuse was highest at 80%. Violence typology Household (%) Neighborhood (%) Fighting 326 (48) 354 (52) Intimidation and threats 135 (20) 545 (80) Beating 52 (8) 628 (92) Extortion 202 (30) 478 (70) Sexual violence 225 (33) 455 (67) Robbery with violence 228 (34) 452 (66) Shooting 114 (17) 566 (83) Child neglect and abuse 545 (80) 135 (20) Mugging 141 (21) 539 (79) Perpetrators of violence 37% of respondents reported violence being perpetrated by youth, while 36% reported that violence was perpetrated by organized groups, 18% reported violence to be perpetrated in the domestic spheres and 5% reported police being most frequent perpetrator of violence. Victims of violence Female respondents (n=384) were the most vulnerable to violence compared to male respondents (n=296). Victims of young age were also the most vulnerable, 18-26 years of age (n=148) and 27 - 33 years of age (n=202) were most vulnerable. The least vulnerable group was at the age of 55 and above. Which underlines that the youth is the most vulnerable groups to violence. The likelihood of having suffered from violence, e.g. physical injuries, was higher for the Muslim victims 18% 36% 5% 4% 37% Domestic sphere Organized groups Police Local administration
  4. 4. than the respondents belonging to the Christian religion (OR=1.5, CI:0.63-3.63). The result indicated that the Muslims may experience more serve violence and the impact of physical assault is more profound. Root causes and risk factors to violence Unemployment was perceived to be the major root cause of violence at 50%, followed by poverty at 20%, lawlessness at 16% and 7% for politics. Likewise, when being asked to indicate the risk factors of violence, unemployment level was reported at 90% followed by poverty and social economic disempowerment at 65%, drugs alcohol and substance abuse at 40%, politics at 21% and presence of gangs and militias at 14%. This is accentuated by the below statement from a key informant. Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, permeation of drugs and alcohol, small business related conflicts, political incitements and negative ethnicity. We frequently handle matters related to all these” KI with County Peace Committee Member, Nakuru County, December, 2015 Logistical regression showed, women were twice as likely (OR=2.1, CI:1.35-4.74) to seek social, financial or emotional support from social networks, compared to men. This result suggests that higher social capital worked as a protective factor when facing violence. Education and household income level is also associated with the reporting of experiencing physical injuries due to violent attack. The odd ratios are greater for the respondents with education of primary school level or having university education, compared to the one without any education, (OR=3.18, CI:0.02-1.19 and OR=3.25, CI:0.02-1.31, respectively). The likelihood of experiencing physical injuries due to violence is also greater for the respondents with household income levels below 10.000 Ksh (nearly 52% of sampled population), compared to the respondents without any household income, (OR=2.13, CI:0.98-5.09). Poverty and socioeconomic characteristic are often associated with risk of violence, and this data underlines this correlation. Violence prevention mechanisms The respondents feel that the best way to address violence is by creating social prevention programs at 85.1%, followed by making tougher laws at 76.9% and having more police/military officers at 69.6%. On issues of mob justice, 35.1% of the respondents agree that mob justice is the best way to address violence while 50.6% disagree.
  5. 5. On being asked to rate the effectiveness of institutions in preventing violence, the respondent feel that the ‘very well’ effective institutions are: Religious leaders at 44.4% followed by the County government at 30.6%. However, respondents felt that the County Peace Committee at 66.9% followed by the Community Policing-Nyumba Kumi initiative at 56.2%, where ‘not at all’ effective. Trust in Institutions Equally, when respondents were asked about trust in the institutions, the religious leaders were mostly trusted, at a 41% followed by the national police at 29%. However the respondents do ‘not at all’ trust the County Peace Committee at 75.7% followed by the Community Policing-Nyumba Kumi at 47%. Recommendations  The fact that majority of respondents do not trust or do not find central institutions and authorities effective in adressing violence, such as civil society, Country Peace Committee and Nyumba Kumi, needs to be adressed since they are crucial players in the community and in preventing violence.  There is need to incorporate analysis of politics and violence into assessment of policies and measures to strengthen youth employment and basic services in poor neighbourhoods.  There is an urgent need for local government and civil society to address everyday violence amongst the urban poor, since this feeds into widespread violence during election time.  Communities need to strengthen their mechanisms for protection of victims of violence.  It is recommended that county and national governments enhance working relationship especially in addressing factors that increase probability of becoming a victim and perpetrator

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