Kenya’s elections: Hoping for the best while preparing for the worst
March 7, 2013 By
As Kenyans awaited the results of Monday's electons, the IRC team in Mombasa delivered emergency medical supplies to health facilities in Coast Province, one of the "hotspots" of violence after the disputed elections of 2007. Many of the victims were women and girls who suffered extreme abuse and violence, and so the supplies include emergency kits for women survivors.
“The violence of 2007 and 2008 was the worst,” says peace activist Simon Muchiri, 50, remembering the disputed presidential elections that tore Kenyan communities apart. He says he believes peace building over the past five years has encouraged co-existence, and he is hopeful local people will have more voice in government.
Rhoda Mukamba (second from left) lost her husband and her home when mobs attacked her Kenyan village in January 2008 after a disputed presidential election. With new elections scheduled for this coming March, the IRC is working with partners and communities in Kenya to avert a repeat of the violence.
A woman is pumping water in Kanajak, a small South Sudanese village which has seen its population return after long years in exile. The IRC, which runs health clinics and provides clean water to communities in two of South Sudan's nine states, soon came to the villagers' aid, installing new water pumps. The IRC has installed 80 water systems serving almost 40,000 people in South Sudan.
As South Sudan nears its second anniversary as an independent state on July 9, the world’s newest nation continues to struggle with enormous problems. The IRC, which has been working in the region since 1989, provides lifesaving obstetric care, clean water, and assistance to survivors of sexual violence.