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Ole Kasasi Community Project

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Ole Kasasi is a small community located in Ongata Rongai, a semi-urban town on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Ongata Rongai is 17 km south of Nairobi on the western side of the Ngong Hills.

Ongata Rongai grew from a cattle market in the 1950s, later a stone mining township, and is now a high density residential and business area. The population of Ongata Rongai has grown from approximately 35,000 in 1999 to an estimated 140,000 in the 2009 census.

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Increasing population and no corresponding development in terms of social and economic infrastructure, as well as fewer resources has contributed to escalating crime rates in Ongata Rongai over the years. Violent crimes are the norm in Ongata Rongai, the most commonly reported are armed robberies and burglaries.

The Ole Kasasi Project which was registered as a Community Based Organization (CBO) in 2009. Under the umbrella of the Ole Kasasi CBO, the residents, organizations and businesses in Ole Kasasi and neighboring Maasai Lodge area started a community policing project and built a police post. The Ole Kasasi community policing project was the first in the country to build a police post towards a community policing initiative.

In addition to community policing, the Ole Kasasi CBO is involved in other development activities including environmental education and conservation, lobbying and tackling social ills.

Ole Kasasi community members in 2011 invited CRDF to partner with them in their community policing initiative due to various logistical and administrative challenges the project was facing. For instance, although the project had brought in the support of the police and built a police post, there was no patrol vehicle to respond to incidents and emergencies.

In an interview with a local daily in 2008, Afi Nyambura, a resident of Olekasasi and one of the founders of the CBO, spoke of the community’s wish to have a vehicle available for the community policing project to help with crime prevention and response.

After several consultations between CRDF and the community, local authorities and other stakeholders, the Ole Kasasi Community (policing) Project (OKCP) was officially launched on the 7th of July 2012. CRDF donated a patrol vehicle towards the project, and hired a driver and project manager.

The Kenya Police provide two armed officers for the patrol vehicle 24/7 to ensure incidents and emergencies are responded to quickly, effectively and appropriately. The patrol vehicle currently covers Ole Kasasi and Maasai lodge areas during the day and night patrols. The community policing team patrol, spot-check and have lock-ups in and around residences, business premises and institutions within the area.

The residents, workers and business owners of Ole Kasasi work with the community policing team by providing vital information that helps in preventing and responding to incidents.

A month after the launch of the project, Afi wrote to CRDF relaying the reception by the community and the impact of the project in crime reduction in the area. Read Afi’s Letter to CRDF (15th August 2012)

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