OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 16, 17 – 23 Apr 2008

OCHA Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 16, 17 – 23 Apr 2008


– New Permanent Secretary in Ministry for Special Programmes

– MPs call for delay of resettlement until root causes addressed

– WFP warns of food ration cuts by June due to production losses and high

– Food security fears as soaring prices hit the poor

The information contained in this report has been compiled by OCHA from information received from the field, from national international humanitarian partners and from other official sources. It does not represent a position from the United Nations.

I General Overview

Following a civil service reshuffle in which 19 new Permanent Secretaries were named, the Ministry of Special Programmes has a new Permanent Secretary, Mr Ali Dawood, who replaces Rachel Arunga. The Ministry has led and co-ordinated humanitarian relief activities in Kenya. It is also responsible for the Relief and Rehabilitation Programme, Resettlement Directorate, Disaster Risk Reduction Secretariat and the National Aids Control Council. Operationally, the National Disaster Operation Centre also falls under this ministry.

On 22 April, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga met with around 50 MPs to discuss resettlement of IDPs. Some Rift Valley MPs want resettlement to be delayed until the causes of the conflict, including historical injustices over land allocation, are resolved. However, it was agreed that resettlement will begin as soon as possible. The two leaders will begin a joint three-day tour of affected regions, starting with Eldoret and Cherangany in Trans Nzoia on 24 April.

Torrential rain caused flash floods in Homa Bay, by the edge of Lake Victoria, on 20 April. More than 500 families were displaced when the River Rangwena burst its banks. Crops in farms and granaries were also destroyed. The government, relief agencies and churches have set up a camp for the displaced in Samanga Primary School in West Karachuonyo. The damaged farms were also a source of food for hundreds of people who reside on higher grounds. The district disaster committee and the district agriculture committee are discussing the way forward.

II. Humanitarian Situation

The distribution of relief items to IDPs living outside of camps continues to pose challenges for aid agencies due to difficulties in targeting those living in host communities. CCCM and nutrition cluster reports indicate that 95% of IDPs in Central Province and Kisumu District ± over 175,000 people ± are hosted in the local communities. In Nakuru, the District Commissioner met with Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), UNHCR, Merlin and WFP to discuss assistance to hosted IDPs given that government food reserves for the district are low.

For more information, please contact:

Jeanine Cooper: Head of OCHA Kenya, +254 (20)7625155,jeanine.cooper@undp.org;

Rania Dagash, Desk Officer, Africa I Section, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 3668, Dagash@un.org;

Christina Bennett, Spokesperson and Public Information Officer, OCHA-New York: +1 917 367 8059, +1 917 435 8617 (mobile), bennett1@un.org;

Elisabeth Byrs, Public Information Officer, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, byrs@un.org.



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