News / Africa

Kenyans Still Living in Camps From '07 Elections

A child sit on a donkey cart after they were handed food at a World Food Program compound in a displacement camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (file photo)
A child sit on a donkey cart after they were handed food at a World Food Program compound in a displacement camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (file photo)

As Kenya enters 2012, an election year, there are still thousands of Kenyans languishing in temporary settlements, having been displaced by the violence of the last elections in late 2007. These Kenyans are calling for the government to resettle them once and for all. 

Peter Kariuki has been living in a tent with his wife and three children since running away from violence and chaos in early 2008.

Their tent is in a settlement called Mawingu, near the town of Nakuru, a couple of hours from Nairobi. More than 12,000 people live in 2,300 tents at the site.

Three years ago the Kenyan government promised to purchase a large tract of the land for the Mawingu community, on which they could build houses, as many members did not feel safe to return to their homes.

They are still waiting for the land.

“It has been so painful, because within those three years we have lost around 122 people in the camp," he said. "They died due to high blood pressure, some of them pneumatic, some of them - diabetes. This is due to [the fact that] all that we had was lost.”

Minister of Special Programs Esther Murungi was not available for comment when contacted by VOA.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission estimates that more than 660,000 Kenyans fled their homes in the days and months following the December 2007 elections.

Much of the fighting was ethnic based, where communities turned against one another following the disputed election results. Later investigations carried out by different organizations accused politicians of whipping up ethnic sentiments for political gains.

Since 2008, the Kenyan government has conducted a number of programs and offered funds for people to return to their original homes or start up new lives elsewhere.  But there are about 20 settlements like Mawingu where people are living in temporary shelters.

Commissioner Fatuma Ibrahim is with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, another government watchdog.

She says she thinks the government has done an effective job of resettling most people displaced by the post-election violence, especially with the challenges of defining who is eligible for assistance and whose cases are authentic. But, Ibrahim says, those still waiting for land face many hardships including inadequate shelter and poor nutrition and health.

She says she thinks the Kenyan government has failed to resolve underlying issues that ignited the post-election violence.

“I see the leaders have not honestly addressed the problem of internal displacement as a result of conflict related to elections or politics," said Ibrahim. "The government has not brought the politicians to the table in terms of saying that yes, people cannot go back to their farms for these reasons and these reasons, and punishing individuals at the local level.”

Currently, the Hague-based International Criminal Court is determining whether to proceed with the trials of six suspects, mostly government ministers, for their alleged roles in masterminding or financing the post-election violence that killed more than 1,000 people.

Kenyans are to go to the polls in 2012, although it is unclear whether the elections will be held in August or December.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid