KENYA: Compensation, fear of attacks keeping IDPs in Rift Valley camps

KENYA: Compensation, fear of attacks keeping IDPs in Rift Valley camps

Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
A young boy drinks rain water at the displaced camp at Eldoret. April 2008. The heavy downpour brings a risk of waterborne diseases that can hit the camp.

ELDORET, 1 May 2008 (IRIN) – Along the Nakuru-Eldoret road, the charred remains of homes and businesses scar the picturesque landscape of Kenya’s Rift Valley province and serve as a reminder of two months of violence that rocked the nation early this year.

The calm that is typical of most rural settings belies the suffering experienced by thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) since fleeing their homes in January and February.

“We are starting the third month of living in tents yet I don’t see myself leaving soon because I am afraid nothing has changed out there,” Rosemary Kuria, an IDP at a camp in Eldoret, told IRIN.

Fear of attacks should they return home and the hope of receiving compensation from the government seem to be two key issues for most IDPs, and contribute to their seeming reluctance to return home even after the formation of a coalition government a month ago, which was to have marked the end of their displacement.
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