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THE DIOCESAN SOCIO-ECONOMIC,POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS CONTEXT.

 

The Nomads or Pastoralists within the Catholic Diocese of Ngong and other Dioceses concerned are peoples who traditionally depended on cattle for their sustenance. They use to move from place to place dictated by the availability of grass.

Originally these peoples occupied lands where hardly anybody else would have access to. During colonial times these lands were even isolated from other regions and were known as. ”closed districts”, where only those people allowed, whom the colonial authorities had defined as belonging there or otherwise people who had been given special permits. After independence this situation was lifted and every Kenyan citizen was given the rights to settle wherever s/he would like. In practice it meant that many people from upcountry, especially the highly populated areas, decided to look for land in these former closed districts. This scenario has increasingly led to recurring conflicts over scarce resources between the indigenous inhabitants (nomads/pastoralists) and the new comers who are mainly agriculturalists, workmen and business people. Besides land as a resource, water and job opportunities in government, private sector and even in churches are areas of conflicts given that educationally, indigenous are comparatively perceived as less learned and less skilled rendering majority of them less competitive to secure scarce job opportunities available. This competition often has a tendency of recruiting from specific ethnic groups again leading to tensions and conflicts.

For the Church, the challenge has been that the new comers either were Christians already or even are open to becoming so. As settled people, these new comers were much easier to approach than the indigenous. The church thus became soon dominated by the new comers than by indigenous which give rise to conflicts.

 

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