As millions of Kenyans throng the various polling stations in the country to decide who will be their leaders for the next five years, the Inter-religious Council of Kenya is on the lookout to ensure that peace is maintained. The council has established two situation rooms; the Women Situation Room (WSR), a women’s peace-building mechanism to mitigate conflict before, during, and after elections in African countries and the National Mediation and Peace Team (NMPT) both of which are based at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Nairobi to enable collection of data on any incidents in the field. The situation rooms are under the Eminent Women Leaders on National Peace and the Mediation Team Eminent Persons that were formed to preach peace.
To collect real time information, the IRCK has released phone numbers that the pubic can use to report any incidents as well as an app called Kobocollect that allows the council to get real time data on perpetrators who cause any harm, type, and extent of harm done to a woman, whether the woman is a candidate, a voter or a by stander.
Other measures taken by the council include positioning election observes and monitors across al polling stations in the country who report on any incident to the team at Radisson Blue using the KoboCollect tool. The council has also ensured that the situation rooms are managed by trained personnel operating in shifts to ensure continued operation for 24 hours. Further, the council has hired a team of technical experts to support the situation room staff. These include analysts and experts on governance. The council has also ensured that there are daily briefings in and from both situation rooms to ensure that information gathered from the field is synthesized and shared with relevant authorities both at the national and sub-national levels in a timely fashion to allow for quick response.
As at the time of publishing, the IRCK monitors across the country reported no incident in the polling stations country wide and voting was going on smoothly.
In case of any incident, you can reach the situation room via 0784301823 or 0782098785 or 0795592627
Featured Image: Past training exercise for female election monitors convened by ICRK. Photo||Mary Ndulili