The government has increased counterterrorism efforts at the county level in a move meant to strengthen community resilience against radicalization and violent extremism. The strategy that has thus far seen multiple attacks repulsed and terrorist activities crippled is directly translating to the growth of economies in the counties hence attracting investors.
The programme that involves former security heads and community leaders has largely been spearheaded by members of the public who are better equipped to diagnose extremists and militants hiding among the population.
Enhancing the ability of security agencies, availing sensitization programmes and organizing community events are also some of the moves the government has made to enable seamless operations in the fight against terrorism. Community initiatives such as Nyumba Kumi have also been revived and have played a big role in providing credible information to the authorities.
The community being a notable stakeholder in fighting extremism, it’s only right for the government to build its resilience. It is also important to note, community members are major beneficiaries of a terror-free environment.
Reports based on past terrorist activity on Kenyan counties show that grenade attacks, shootouts as well as bombings led to the near collapse of the sectors that support tourism. These include local businesses, farming and other forms of livelihood like crafts, embroidery and curio businesses.
Counties like North Eastern, Coastal and Nairobi region have been victims of economic sabotage in the past, translating to losses in billions. These atrocities have also led to the destruction of infrastructure, physical and human capital with dire consequences on productivity and economic growth.
With an added budget in the security sector and funds directed to community resilience, terrorist groups will have a tall order in their attempts at recruitment and even radicalization.