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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Real Face Of The IDP Problem In Kenya

Last night I went to bed a very sad woman after watching a special presentation on IDPs on TV. I won’t say I was shocked at the fact that there are IDPs in Kenya, but I will say I was disturbed at the stories they had to tell. For the most part we talk of them as a group. As the aftermath of a bungled election. It’s when their personal stories are brought to the fore that it really hits home. Kenyans are suffering big time. Their tired haunted faces are evidence of the trauma they have gone through after voting for leaders who are now too warped in power games to engage in any thoughtful reflection of their plight. The heavens have finally opened and the camps are cold, wet and damp. The ladies are lacking the much needed privacy that every woman needs sometimes. And let’s not forget the couples who crave a few moments of privacy for obvious reasons. This crucial God given part of their lives is virtually no more – at least for now. And as if that is not enough, in some camps the dark cloud of possible forceful eviction hangs over their heads every time of day.

Teresiah Wairimu had managed to rebuild her life in Burnt forest after her property was destroyed in the 1992 tribal clashes. Now she’s living in Kirathimo camp in Limuru and has lost track of her daughter and 2 grand children. She remembers painfully her house, sheep, cattle and all the other farming activities she undertook and that meant so much to her. She doubts that she can go back to Burnt Forest to risk a third round.

Kioko grew up in Mathare and knows no other home. He was the breadwinner and used to pay rent for his mother and school fees for his younger sister. During the post election violence, everything he owned was destroyed and his one hand was chopped off. His mother and sister now live in an IDP camp and the hitherto able bodied and hard working young man now looks up to friends for shelter and upkeep.

There was a lady whose name I didn’t quite get. She had built a life for herself and her children in Naivasha. After the violence she went back to her ancestral home in Siaya. She cannot go back to Naivasha since everything she owned was burned to the ground. She recently lost her last born daughter to pneumonia. She and the rest of her children are unwell too.

This is not to take you on a guilt trip for having 3 square meals a day and sleeping on a comfortable bed, but rather to highlight the suffering that our fellow Kenyans are going through. The hope they felt when the peace deal was signed on February, 28th is turning into frustration as it slowly hits home that the deal was about political maneuvering and lust for power and money. The possibility of going back home further dwindled with reports that leaflets are already circulating in some areas warning them against it. As Chris says, some of the farms already have new owners as witnessed by the young boy who sneaked out of a camp in Eldoret to go and fetch his beloved bicycle. Their worst fear is that in the new found peace, the momentum will slow and they’ll be forgotten as soon as they’re given iron sheets and nails.

It is not all doom and gloom though. Some people have gone back to their homes to start rebuilding afresh. Artists in Kibera are using their painting talents to preach messages of peace, love and brotherhood. Nakuru residents declared that they’re ready to accommodate everyone regardless of tribe, and help them rebuild their lives. There are individuals like Mary Chepkwony, popularly known as Mama Amani in her area, who along with fellow women is spearheading peace and reconciliation initiatives her own small way. Thousands more Kenyans are making small efforts. Anything anyone does will not be in vain. It will all add up to the bigger picture.

The Red Cross and other groups can only do so much. We need to keep the accelerator jammed to the floor and step up the pressure on the government until the very last one of them is resettled. As much as patience is also a form of action, it can only stretch so far.

Kumekucha is very jealous, why is everybody talking about the hottest new gossip site ever seen run by some lady called Joan? Joan kitu gani? Rumour even has it that it has overtaken Kumekucha in terms of traffic. But that is impossible? How?!! It is only 4 days old. HOW?? Check it out for yourself HERE.

P.S. But please come back and keep it Kumekucha.


19 comments:

Anonymous said...

"....Their tired haunted faces are evidence of the trauma they have gone through after voting for leaders who are now too warped in power games to engage in any thoughtful reflection of their plight..."

...."leaders????????"

Should be power hungry animals since their sickening actions are almost sadistic!

Enough said!

...M-Pesa, Nairobi.

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

True Ivy there's so much suffering in those camps. The Eldoret boy's story was heartrending. Rich kids talk of bicycles as playthings. They break down they're replaced pronto. For that young boy it's a possession so highly valued it's worth taking the risk for. His only means of moving around and getting things done. So sad.

Anonymous said...

HOW ABOUT THE NAKURU- NAIVASHA RELATIVES WHO ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THEIR RELATIVES HEAD?? THAT WERE BEHEADED BY MUNGIKI GANGS?? SOME TRIBES CAN'T BURY WITHOUT THE WHOLE BODY IT IS TABU TO THEM! OTHERS HEADS WERE LEFT IN CENTRAL THOUGH THERE IS A STORY OF A WOMAN WHO CARRIED HER HUSBANDS HEAD ALL THE WAY TO KISUMU- THIS WAS REPORTED BY ONE OF THE NGO'S AFFILIATED WITH READ CROSS AND INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST!

WHY QUESTION STILL REMAINS- WHY HAVEN'T THE FINANCIERS OF THE MUNGIKI GANG WHO DID THIS GENOCIDE IN NAKURU AND NAIVASHA BEEN PULLED IN FOR QUESTIONING??? WE ALL KNOW WHO THEY ARE? WHY ARE THE POLICE SCARED?? MUNGIKI GAVE A TAPE TO BBC!! MAINA KIAI AND REGARDING THE MEETING THAT TOOK PLACE AT STATEHOUSE?????

WHAT IS ALL THIS SELECTIVE JUSTICE?? KENYANS WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS YOU WAIT AND SEE!!

KUMEKUCHA PLEASE POST THIS!!


Wanjiku Unlimited
2:25 AM
NAKURU AND NAIVASHA ARE STILL HOT SPOTS NOBODY FEELS SAFE YET
MORE THAN 20 INNOCENT KENYANS BEHEADED!! THIS MUNGIKI GANGS SHOULD BE WEEDED OUT OR FORCED TO STAY IN CENTRAL PROVINCE!! WHO WANTS A MUNGIKI MEMBER TO LIVE NEXT TO THEM???

Anonymous said...

Blogger Wanjiku Unlimited said..
too much happening on your site!! and colors not pleasing to the eyes, sorry kumekucha is till the it site- hey kumekucha reduce the moderation. you sometimes make us read stale posts!!! people should be reading immediately they post are posted on here!!

what do you say?? try give us a break???

Anonymous said...

nice article wanjiku. idps they are suffering to much. i know somebody whose 3 brothers were killed in nyanza. are you the same one of mombasa. are you also Joan? but did you have to include the udaku post in your graet post? they just dont match! they are both nice but they dont belong in one article

Anonymous said...

Wanjiku For a while i have just been wondering.....Who is going to stand up for the rights of the poor and the oppressed in Kenya, the civil society only wants to take part where they will make a name for themselves, they want a place where they will be recognized. Check this, in South C there is so much noise in a pub, residents are up in arms and a week down the line, the pub is shut down, scenario 2, Muthurwa residents are complaining about noise pollution of mats, guys cant put on their TV sets coz it just doesn't make sense, children cant play outside, i mean it is too dangerous!! So what other options do these people have ...Watch mats roving in and pretend it is the Kenyan safari rally even that they will still get tired after a week or so. This past weekend i decided to make a trip to Muthurwa just to assess the situation not that i could do much anyway but i almost broke down.....Pale hakuna mpango it is everybody for himself, yaani i left their wondering....Maybe we should have a ministry of hawkers if it is going to make that place a bit organized, it is dirty and very pathetic, you know what i mean and there is no space to step, it makes you do a game we used to play long time, hop, step and jump. Enyewe najivunia kuwa mkenya...The IDP situation hiyo i have already commented and i have left it to God to sort it out now that common sense has refused to prevail in the minds of men>>>>Uhuru deciding to take a playground for kids forgetting that these ones can't afford computer games. Our poliicians continue fighting over steak and bones, heh kenya ni nchi ya watu na viatu. Kweli masikini hana chake.
Wanjiku come to think of it this 7% growth is it still there? I wonder who feels it..You go to a supermarket to do your shopping and you leave there wondering even the smart cards are not making sense nowadays...the last time i thought the till man had gongad me...Kumbe ni uchumi imepanda. Can we lock all these politicians and their sycophants somewhere and throw the key in the ocean


Ivy (Perplexed Kenyan at the moment)

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Anon 3.38 thanks. I am Wanjiku of Mombasa but I'm not Joan. The article miss match .... sorry for that.

Anon 3.38 udaku daily it an extension of Kumekucha if I'm not wrong.

Anonymous said...

WHAT?? UDAKU DAILY IS RUN BY KUMUKUCHA?? i thought it is signed off by wanjiku unlimited?? so is wanjuki unlimited?? kumekucha too??

kumekucha can you please straighten this issue?? who owns udaku daily?? you or wanjiku unlimited???? or you the same person confusing your bloggers and posting posts with different names???

Anonymous said...

I watched the IDP's and that was quite sad indeed, especially the boy and the bike?
Udaku is great, but Kumekucha ni mambo yote.......

Mrembo said...

wanjiku what a nice article aki its so sad, what kind of people do we choose to lead us? i dont understand them at all!!

yaani, since those people signed the peace deal...let me tell you what i have seen:

1.some of them going to mombasa to enjoy the weekend away(not that i had a problem with it then or even now-just stating facts),
2.people playing golf in karen,
3.people throwing huge bashes in their residences,
4.people dining at the grand regency, i have seen people cozying up for nice kodak moments(which is more than irritating to me),
5.some idiot of a speaker saying mp salaries are justified, comparing them to ceos no less(na wengine hata hawakumaliza class 8!!)
6.people barring public vehicles from the nairobi city center so that they can zoom past us as they show off their fuel guzzling toys when the rest of us are sweating kwa barabara
7.people marvelling at the number of the security aides the taxpayer is going to pay for
8.people having sleepless nights looking for the new office location of the prime minister
9.people getting excited about state of the art limos
10.and now i see people jostling for cabinet positions-safaricom hata sisemi.

no one is concerned about the plight of idp's-no one cares my dear. si mwangi kiunjuri asked a few questions in parliament?...no one answered him...sasa?....si it was brushed aside? that was the end of the story!! i'm telling you am so pissed at those people right now-they should just know.

am sure some people will come here defending some politicians and some will even tell me this is a strategy being executed by odm...but you know what? screw strategies, and plans, and trying to look like a team player in the peace deal(before being sworn in-as some of u keep saying) i dont care!!! you cannot play games when people's lives are on the line like this...people are sick, hungry and dying!! games are not welcome here.

infact if u ask me i think it would have been better for them(odm) to stay in the opposition-hata kama waliwin-at least something could have come out of it....somebody would at least hold that government accountable.....now we just have to wait till we can sweep them all out of the picture then we start our lives over again!! whenever that will be.

like i keep saying here, si mlishapiga kura? that is all you were good for-ukishapiga kura u go and keep quiet and let them eat in peace!! even those we loved so much after duping us with the tsunami of change are quiet about this-have u seen any of them siding with wananchi? when they said 'the people' in their campaign rallies they meant only the politicians-this behaviour of theirs is a bitter pill to swallow(more so for some of us) but that is the truth my dear. next time anyone starts saying 'we are with the people' i will make sure they clarify which people they are talking about coz i shall not be fooled twice!! politicians who are 'with the people' would never, ever, ever dream of doing this let alone doing it!! may the Good Lord forgive them... for they clearly have no idea what they are doing!!

can you imagine even those mp pastors are quiet? have u seen mutava and margaret wanjiru saying anything? that parliament must have some evil spirits and some really bad juju because, what other explanation can there be? kalooser, born again yake iliisha siku ile aliwekwa vp-does he even know whether there are idps in this country? yeye ni odm-kenya yake tu.

and u know what the worst part is?...i dont even expect any of these guys to change...mambo yatakuwa haya haya mpaka watoke!!

ivy my friend, at least wewe u are just perplexed....me am on a totally different lower level!!

'leaders' kweli!!

Abass said...

Wanjiku has her own blog, I suppose. Just click on the 'wanjiku unlimited'

Mrembo said...

oh yes...after all my venting i have to say this....i must also commend all those who are helping out with the idp's in the camps since it seems we have to do this all by ourselves without any intervention from the government.

however, i have also heard of people starting establishing charities to address this idp issue, rob people blind in the name of collecting funds from especially people in the diaspora.....that is so low...its very digusting!! please stop!!!

Mrembo said...

aaa nyinyi nanyi mna mambo yenu....kumekucha is definitely great....no one disputes that, but udaku pia ni poa...they just address different issues...i like it!!

kwani we shall just be reading siasa all the time jamani?...udaku is definitely a good spice for this site!!

well done kumekucha!!

Anonymous said...

Mrembo am with u on the issues u raised at 7:33 am. U couldn't have said it better! I know so many people who think that u're always ODM damu and see no evil but on those points, u hit the nail on the head. Wewe bado una wananchi lakini those leaders wametusahau walipo ambiwa "watakula".

Taabu said...

Wanjiku/KK/Joan or whoever the post is SPOT ON. Just like a newspaper you have the luxury to browse only pages of interest. There message is potent and no need to hung the messanger. Udaku has its readers with all the rights.

Meanwhile Ciku has spoilt people's appetite at the bourse. The IPO saliva is so stale but trust Kenyans to smell coins miles away. The IDP issue is one blot on our country that the so-called leaders wont address as much as they are the casue. Washindwe pepo mbaya.

Meanwhile Kumekucha needs a psychitrist and counsellor to cool down Mrembo. The gal is LIVIDand burning with rage. Let no politciian cross her path lest he becomes DEAD MEAT. Woiye Mrembo, cool down please, all the bad things will come to pass.

tnk said...

chris

this article and the tv clip is an eye opener. i'm sure there are other even more horrifying stories in those IDP camps. the improtant thing is to reach out and help. we can help by contributing funds, time, exposing corrupt practices or agencies and through positive and sustained discussion and pressure on authorities to speed up and provide appropriate redress.

the current option of forcing them out of the camps (to go back to "their" homes) when they obviously have nowhere to go to, and even worse have to deal with severe trauma without counseling and support is totally inhuman. the govt is behaving like a rogue doctor or quack who after a botched treatment wants to treat a wound by chopping off the limb and burying it and hoping none the wiser, we should not allow this to happen.

mrembo, your anger is justified, i also urge you to be mindful that there are some in that bunge who are concerned and doing something about away from the public limelight so lets not be too quick to condemn everyone wholesale, but i repeat you are so right.

Anonymous said...

The kenyan media is conspiring with the media to potray a certain community as the only victims in the polls fiasco, where are the faces of the displaced in places like , nakuru , naivasha , thika and other non ODM zones.

tnk said...

wanjiku unlimited

just to clarify

wasn't attempting to "power share" the kudos for your "duly electable" excellent article.

was just prodding kk to do what he does best, i.e investigative journalism and bring out all the facts.

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Kenyans, I included are an angry lot. But my! my! Mrembo and Ivy your anger is palpable - almost bursting out of the screen. And very justified. I'll make sure I don't cross your paths today at all!! I'll be very careful what I say even in Domo Chatroom lest I wake that anger again hehehe.

Abbas thanks.

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