Ogiek Of Mt Elgon – Moving Forward


Despite the challenges that the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon face, there are mechanisms that the community currently has in place to assist them in moving forward.

  • History documentation- In the recent past, the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon have engaged in history documentation and as of February 2020, a document containing the history of the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon had been submitted to the community members for the purposes of validation.
  • Mapping-The community is constantly making efforts to document the lands which they claim through mapping the area occupied by the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon.
  • Spatial planning – This process involves setting aside the areas that are meant for settlement, farming, business etc.
  • Community resource center – In their attempts to document culture, the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon are actively trying to come up with a resource center for the community. The center is intended to have various aspects of their culture including artefacts etc.
  • Litigation – The community is also making use of local courts e.g. the Bungoma High Court to realize the constitutional rights of its people. Currently there are two ongoing cases relating to land that have been lodged in Bungoma.
  • Ogiek community by laws – These laws help to guide community operations and ensure peace among members of the community.
  • Chepkitale Ogiek Governing Council (COGC) – The existence of the COGC is instrumental in that they help in implementation of community by laws and also act as an advisory committee of the community. They are also involved in conservation of the environment. The structure of the community is that the it has 32 clans and each of the clans have their own clan council of elders. The chair of each clan forms part of the council of elders who choose overall chair and also select members of other positions who make up the COGC.  Other functions of the COGC include:
  • Custodians of culture
  • Symbol of Unity
  • Family conflicts
  • Bridge btw government and community
  • Peace issues
  • Custodians of resources of the community

The COGC engage in numerous meeting with both government and other state actors to advance the cause of the people.

  • Community Scouts– These are youths who volunteer from the community to aid in forest conservation.