Introduction to Abjata’s Blog

I am 34 years old award winning journalist and development worker born, brought up and based in dry patched remote northern region of Kenya. Am a development worker, community educator, mobiliser, community journalist, activist and advocate for social justice.

I am currently working with non- profit development organisation, KENYA PASTORALIST JOURNALIST NETWORK. But my activism and community work started way back when I was a young boy after witnessing human rights violation, armed attacks, brutality among others that gave me courage and determination in empowering my pastoralist community.

I undertake many activities and work in northern Kenya and among them are: Human rights Education and awareness campaigns, Human Rights Defenders work and program, Human rights profiling, reporting and monitoring, Conflict resolution and management through mediation and traditional mechanisms, Peace education through community radio and traditional media like folklore, traditional dance, oral narratives, storytelling, non -violence means and education, Women rights education and campaign, Women empowerment projects,
Women radio listening project, Gender equality, Climate change

education and adaptation, Climate change projects like tapping clean solar energy, community food security program, Using indigenous knowledge in addressing climate change , Climate justice project, Anti-human trafficking campaigns, Refugee rights, Eradication of small arms and light weapons ,Health rights and education, Fighting environmental crimes and organised groups like terrorist outfits and armed militias, Rehabilitation of ex-combatants ,civic education and undertaking anti-corruption campaigns and education. Apart from above mentioned activities, I am a member of various national and international networks.

I was born and brought up in a village called Wagalla in Wajir, Kenya. One incident that happened on 10th, February 1984, changed my life and built my resolve to create change, educate and empower my community and building their capacity to attain social justice.

On 10th February 1984, contingent of Kenya army invaded Wagalla village and flushed the residents out of their homes to an empty field where we were subjected to severe beatings, women and girls gang raped by the army in full watch of the besieged residents, we were surrounded in the open field without food / water and under scorching sun.

In the Wagalla field people started dying of hunger, dehydration and severe bleedings from bullets wounds and gun butt injuries. After some days under siege some victims broke the cordon and snatched guns from the security men surrounding us in the field. Other officers panicked and started spraying bullets to the people and it’s here they
killed many people. Others managed to escape including me, while others were walking and dropping dead while escaping due to bullet

wounds and bleeding. I was saved by a brave and daring Italian Nun late Analina Toneli, who was rescuing escaping victims, and offering them water and first aid. She was killed some years ago by forces that executed and ordered the Wagalla massacre.

The security forces collected the dead bodies and dumped them some 200 kilometres for hyenas to feed on them.

This violation and armed attacks from politically instigated conflicts, raids, security operations in our village moulded what I am today and what I do today.

I started asking myself what will you do to address your community sufferings and offer them dignified and normal life built on social justice. This made me to start active activism at age of 16 years and fighting for my community and seeking education under difficult conditions so that I can get knowledge to change.

Many other heinous acts perpetrated by armed militia like abduction of young girls to act as their comfort women in conflict zone, militia inserting gun butt and bottles in women victims private parts and gang raping devastated my upbringing as it was happening in my village and surrounding areas on daily basis.

All these atrocities, heinous acts, human rights violation, gang rape as tool of humiliation and embarrassment and the number of people killed in state sponsored massacres, armed conflicts, security operations and extra judicial killings made me to pursue journalism and use media in educating my people and give them platform of knowledge and information generation, sharing, dialogue and circulation and also I pursued development studies to initiate community developments, offer counselling and build my community capacity in fostering change and usher development.

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