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Friday, 6 June 2014

Nyumba Kumi initiative takes off in Wangwaci

Bob Aston 
The Nyumba Kumi initiative which was introduced by the government in 2013 is a simple concept that requires one to know his or her neighbours. It aims to mobilize neighbourhoods to work hand in hand with the police to tackle crime. In Wangwaci location, Sipili Division local leaders started the initiative a week ago after seeing a rise in insecurity reported cases.
Wangwaci location chief Paul Nasky said that cases of theft, invasion of private land by some herders and sale of illicit brew had become a common occurrence in the area.
“The Nyumba Kumi initiative enables members of the community to identify particular security issues they have and report to police and the national administration. We have already started getting some positive feedback,” said Nasky.
Nasky said that they started by established structures that they would use to profile residents. This included name, id no and contact of the residents. They have so far profiled all the residents of the 19 villages in Wangwaci location.

“We now know everyone who is residing in Wangwaci. New people cannot join the villages without us knowing. When we started profiling the residents some people who were of unquestionable integrity ran away for fear of being profiled,” said Nasky.
Changaa that had been confiscated at Ngomongo village in Wangwaci
Nasky said that security has started improving since they started the initiative. He cited the information that the police have received from the public following an alleged murder of two kids by the mother in the area. He said the information that they received is helping the police in their investigation.
Nasky also said that they have followed several leads given to them by the public of alleged illegal brew dens. This has helped them to carry out several raids thus arresting several people who have been involved in brewing changaa. He said that most of them have already been prosecuted.
“We have identified various people who we believe are involved in unlawful activities and we are now monitoring their movement through the Nyumba Kumi initiative,” said Nasky.
Nasky said the Laikipia County security commander has brought six officers at 18 camp and three separate Administration Police (AP) camps have been set up in the area. He said that insecurity was high in the area but the camp has deterred most of the would be criminals. He said Wangwaci has also been issued with a police patrol car to help boost security.
“Security has now been enhanced as people now know each other. It is also important for everyone to know that they have a primary concern of their safety and should therefore collaborate with the government to make security a personal issue,” said Nasky.
Nasky said the government is keen to make the Nyumba Kumi initiative a key pillar of the policing strategy. He said they have integrated it into community policing to ensure the current system of villages under village elder are restructured into 10 house hold units. The village elders are now the chairmen of the initiative.
Residents have an obligation to give information of individuals they suspect of being involved in unlawful activities. When you decide to conceal or not reveal a security concern to relevant authorities then you will be endangering your life as well as your neigbours,” said Nasky.
Nasky has urged Wangwaci residents to embrace the initiative as it will help in improving security. He said that they will continue sensitizing the locals on the need of Nyumba Kumi and how they can work together to ensure that they live in a secure environment.
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