STOP THE EXCLUSION OF OGIEK INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN KENYA
Organized by: Ingrid Johanson
Enhancing the voices of the Ogiek Indigenous community in Kenya
My name is Leonard Mindore, I am a representative of the Ogiek people and an indigenous human rights defender. I am inviting all global citizens, non-profit practitioners and philanthropists to stop a grave injustice – the exclusion of our people from political representation. The Kenyan Constitution provides for representation of minorities and marginalized groups, however the government ignores these provisions at the expense of the Ogiek and other indigenous minorities.
Through this crowdfunding campaign, we intend to right this wrong. We must hire a constitutional lawyer to file a case in the High Court of Kenya. The Ogiek community has already committed $1000 USD to our cause but we need your support for raising the remaining $3000 USD to hire a constitutional lawyer.
Watch video here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2hO0Tf1yT4
Background / Context:
Ogiek are an indigenous minority and forest dependent community with a population estimated to be between 25-30,000 people. The Ogiek people’s traditional homeland is the expansive Mau forest in Rift Valley province in Kenya, East Africa. Since time immemorial Ogiek have co-existed peacefully with nature, practicing sustainable livelihoods through hunting, traditional bee keeping and gathering wild fruits and berries. It has been this environmentally sound way of life that has enabled the Ogiek’s survival. The Ogiek people’s land has been illegally subdivided by the Government of Kenya, which has awarded parcels of land to other dominant communities as a reward for political allegiance. This has rendered many Ogiek people homeless, vulnerable and displaced.
While we are suffering from the recent subdivision of our traditional lands, we already face a myriad other challenges including high poverty rates, high illiteracy levels, HIV/AIDS pandemic and lack of political representation.
Political Representation- Case at the Kenyan High Court:
On August 2017, Kenya will hold its general elections. Our community is struck by the fear that we will again be ignored. Currently, the Ogiek have no political representation or voice in the government, the National Assembly, Senate or the County Assembly. If we succeed in this High Court case, we will set precedent that can be used to help other indigenous minorities in Kenya who face similar challenges of dispossession of traditional lands and lack of political representation.
Your support is essential to the future of my community. Do not hesitate to contact me for further details.
OHCHR indigenous fellow,2013
ISSP fellow, Columbia University, 2016