Hazi-Mazingira is an environmental justice programme of RECONCILE. Its objective is to promote access to environmental justice in Kenya through legal education and awareness creation, capacity building, and the training of communities and individuals on environmental laws and policies and through the undertaking of public interest environmental litigations. Through this programme, RECONCILE has established the Western Kenya Environmental Law Centre (WKELC) to empower citizens to promote environmental enforcement and compliance in the three former provinces of western Kenya: Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western.
The programme and the centre uses research, trainings, advocacy, community education/awareness and public interest litigation to supports and facilitate citizens’ action in the promotion and protection of environmental rights. The lessons from this programme have shown the need for a wider reach on access to justice. The centre is therefore evolving into a full-fledged national centre under the name: Haki Sheria Institute (HSI), which will remain an initiative of RECONCILE but will run its own programmes to promote access to justice in Kenya. Haki Sheria Institute will promote access to justice through the use of an integrated internship programme to do legal education and create awareness on legal processes and procedures so that ordinary citizens can be able to engage and demand justice appropriately from the point of knowledge. The programme under the programme and the Center focus on:
- Development and implementation of community environmental law and education strategies to increase citizens’ awareness and knowledge on environmental rights and responsibilities by 50% in three years. This will entails.
- Development of community environmental rights and responsibilities training modules
- Development of simplified and demystified judicial procedures to enable communities have a grasp of court and judicial procedures and how best to use them.
- Production and dissemination of relevant environmental/natural resource Information, Education and Communication materials targeting different stakeholders.
- Development of an internship programme that enable the interns and the volunteers to interact with communities, providing them with legal advice, work with them in documenting environmental violation, jointly working on strategies for redressing environmental grievances and supporting trained community environmental extensionists.
- Promoting the establishment and use of Alternative/Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism at the community levels to address the relevant cases for speedy delivery of justice.
- Engaging World Bank to ensure that all World Bank – IFC funded programmes comply with the institutions safe guard measures. In this regard, the programme shall promote the understanding of World Bank Safe Guard Measures at the community levels and engage community groups and community representatives in auditing World Bank – IFC funded programmes/projects.