Tribulations of a Kisauni Squatter

In September 2010, hundreds of people were evicted from Lamkeni area in Kisauni, Mombasa following an operation that cleared their homes to pave way for a private developer.  While residents alleged that an influential individual grabbed the 135 acre piece of land in question, the police and city council said they were enforcing a court order.

Kioko Kivandi, Programmes Manager of Nakuru based Amani FM, was in Kisauni during the squatter eviction exercise. He benefitted from an Internews travel grant to produce a series of three features analyzing the causes and consequences of land conflicts in Coast province. His first feature titled “Tribulations of a Kisauni Squatter” shows rising resentment in the  community  as a result of the ability of outsiders to gain rights on land they would not be able to access themselves.

Kioko works in the Rift Valley – another Kenyan region where tensions arising from land disputes were an acute trigger of the 2008 post-election violence. He went to the Coast to see what his listeners could learn from there on the issues of displaced persons and of perceived historical injustices around land ownership and inform his listeners.

The Internews Kenya Land &Conflict Sensitive Journalism program awards small grants to trained journalists to facilitate their travel from their station’s location to an area of the country they would not be able to reach.  This program aims to deepen citizens’ understanding of conflict issues in the country and to facilitate inter communal dialogue.