Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Exodus...

Over the past week, there has been a mass movement of people from various parts of the country who are fleeing persecution. Estimates are ranging between 300,000 - 500,00 Internally Displaced People. This political clash of the power hungry elite has opened a huge can of worms that is far too complex and perhaps not the right platform to engage with. The bottom line is ethnic minorities all over the country are running for their lives if they can. Our close friends, Alison and Chege came back to Kenya a few years ago to set up an eco-retreat and community centre of in Kisumu called Heshima. When the election results were delayed, the surrounding community who are Luo looted and burnt their place down. With 3 children, Ella who is only 2 weeks old at the time, and Chege being a Kikuyu, they had no choice but to leave their home and run for their lives. Alison was asked to publish a diary of the events on the Observer
There are hundreds more who are less fortunate and have not been able to leave Kisumu. Each day could be their last.

From Mr. and Mrs. P in Kisumu...

50 people including children have taken refuge at a primary school next to Kibos Prison on the outskirts of Kisumu. Hundreds of people if not more were all worried for their lives and desperate to get out having witnessed countless persecutions.
The only problem was lack of money. None of them can afford a bus ticket as they have had to abandon everything.
Ladies In Action made the decision that helping them leave Kisumu is the only solution for now. We are trying to organise the Akamba Bus Services to ferry them to Nakuru, Naivasha or Nairobi where they have family and friends and will be amongst their own communities. The total
estimated cost is KShs. 1000/00 per person. There were no tickets available for today or tomorrow but there may be a possibility for Friday. Discussions have been made with the District Commissioner to
bring them from Kibos to Kisumu. One family wanted to travel to Chemelil and one to Kindubay. We immediately gave them the cash as they were certaint they could find their own means.
We don't know how many people in total want to leave immediately but we feel that this is the best thing we can do to help these people. The situation may get worse since President Kibaki has sworn in part of the new Cabinet which has not been accepted by the opposition.

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