IRC Continuing to Deliver Aid to Displaced Kenyans
Alan Manski, of the IRC emergency response team, said that the greatest needs in the camps where the displaced are being housed are water and sanitation facilities. Last week, IRC teams installed latrines and showers at a school building in the village of Noigam where 7,000 people are sheltering. Working with the Kenyan Red Cross, the IRC also distributed bowls, cups, plates and other essential items such to some 250 displaced families sheltering in a nearby church. The Kitale region, located in Kenya’s multi-ethnic Rift Valley Province, experiences falling temperatures at this time of year. In response, the IRC has distributed nearly 100 tons of firewood in three displaced persons camps in the Kitale area.
The IRC and the Red Cross are working to register displaced families and identify people with special needs, such as the elderly, pregnant women and children separated from their families. So far, IRC teams have provided over 250 people with extra blankets, transport to schools and help with referrals to clinics.
Alan Manski said that the biggest concern among the displaced, however, is their security.
“They want a guarantee from the government that security will be provided to them if they return to their former homes,” he said.
The western part of Rift Valley Province has seen some of the worst fighting following December’s disputed presidential election. President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner, but supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga claim the vote was rigged. Following the post-election chaos, some 300,000 people are believed to be displaced in camps, with the same number living elsewhere, according to the United Nations.