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KENYA: Still displaced three years after poll violence

KISUMU, 18 February 2011 (IRIN) - Orchestrated violence following hotly contested presidential election results in December 2007 led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Many are still struggling to rebuild their lives in their new homes, despite a government compensation scheme.

IRIN spoke to several of these IDPs in Nyanza Province:

Karen Ayieko, 75, resident of Mtwala in Muhoroni, Nyanza, was displaced from Thessalia in Kericho district in 1994:

"I am grateful for this little piece of land that the church has helped me to put up my hut on. However, I have nowhere to till to grow some food crops. I live with two of my grandchildren and our main problem is food; if I don't work on neighbours’ farms, we will not eat.

"Although I had a big farm where I came from, I don't want to go back and even though I have not integrated well here, I just wish I had access to a small shamba [plot] to grow some food."

Jeremiah Nyamora Sangany, 60, twice-displaced since 1992, now resident of Mtwala in Muhoroni:

"My home and property in Meteitei [Nandi district] were burnt during the 1992 clashes. Life has been trouble and more trouble since then. I have six children but I had to take them to relatives because they cannot all live with me in this hut that I have built on this quarter-acre [0.1 hectare] that I was settled on with the help of the NCCK [National Council of Churches of Kenya].

"I have received the KSh10,000 [US$125] from the government but it was not enough to give me a good start. I survive on casual work at the sugar plantation nearby. All I want from the government is a small piece of land to till so that I can bring my family together again."

Rose Achieng Odeyo, mother of eight, resident of Barchando in Bondo, Nyanza, was displaced in 2008 from Molo, Rift Valley Province:

"I was a fish trader, I would sell my produce at the wholesale market in Nakuru. When the violence erupted in Molo weeks after the elections, I fled to the Afraha stadium. From there, we grouped ourselves according to where we originally came from and hired a vehicle to bring us home.

"Since I returned, my life has not been easy. Some of my children have completed primary school yet I lack the funds to take them to secondary school. I survive by performing odd jobs for neighbours. I need help to restart my fish business and take my children to school. I am taking care of four of my late sister's children, one of whom is looking for a job."

Helena Kwamboka, resident of Mtwala in Muhoroni district, was twice-displaced since 1992:

"I first fled from Meteitei [Nandi district] in 1992 when clashes targeting non-Kalenjins started. I was lucky to get NCCK help to relocate to Muhoroni but when the violence started in 2008, I was displaced yet again.

"I have eight children and the KSh10,000 I received from the government was not even enough to put up a decent structure for all of us. I have built the reef shack here for the boys to sleep in since we cannot all fit into the hut. I had two hectares in Meteitei but now I don't even have a bed, I sleep on the floor."


Theme (s): Refugees/IDPs,

Copyright © IRIN 2011
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States.
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