The Ogiek are one of Africa’s last remaining forest dwellers and hunter-gatherer communities. Traditionally honey-gatherers, they survive mainly on wild fruits and roots, game hunting and traditional beekeeping. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the Ogiek at Mount Elgon in Kenya have been routinely subjected to arbitrary forced evictions from their ancestral lands, and having their lands allocated to agricultural settlers or national parks. The CIPDP is an Ogiek community organization working to advocate for the recovery of land rights of Ogiek ancestral lands.
Digital Democracy is helping the Ogiek community in using Mapeo to collect and have local ownership over data about their ancestral lands to support the advocacy processes led by CIPDP. We are providing remote accompaniment to help build a bespoke Mapeo configuration for the Ogiek and train a dedicated team of CIPDP mappers to use Mapeo, so they can go on and train others in the community, and initiate a participatory mapping process across the ancestral territory. The hope is that the data and maps generated, along with solidarity building during the process, will empower the Ogiek to negotiate for their land rights, and also clarify boundaries between the lands of other neighboring communities. (In partnership with Forest Peoples Programme)