AMREF – Responding to crisis: Lessons from Kenya’s silent emergency

Responding to crisis: Lessons from Kenya’s silent emergency


AMREF’s Deputy-Director General, Dr Florence Muli-Musiime has warned that emergency institutions, both local and international, risk misdirecting their humanitarian crisis response if they are not sensitive to community dynamics that are not always visible in times of upheaval. In a powerful message to hundreds of delegates at the 35th Global Health Council Conference taking place in Washington DC, Dr Muli-Musiime described a ‘silent emergency’ that nobody spoke about following the post-election violence in Kenya, whose implications for healing and recovery has more serious implications for post-conflict health and social development than the more widely publicised plight of internally displaced people in the country.

‘When the crisis broke out,’ she said, ‘the focus of the health system was to mitigate the physical injuries, while that of the donor community and emergency institutions was on the Internally Displaced People. But we realised that there was a silent emergency which none of the two groups was looking at – that of thousands of people who were caught up in their own homes, unable to go to IDP camps because they would have had to go through hostile territory to get there, and unable to access health or any other basic services. To make matters worse, they were physically assaulted and sexually abused in their own homes.’

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CCP Meeting – 09-05-08

MINUTES OF THE CCP MEETING HELD AT OXFAM OFFICES, SHELTER AFRIQUE HOUSE ON 09/05/08

CORE GROUP MEMBERS PRESENT


1. Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat


Matters Arising

Internally Displaced Camps

There is a concern that top political leaders are quiet about asking others to vacate and return property that does not belong to them. The Muslim Sheikh from Mombasa made a prayer that can be encouraged countrywide.

The full data of IDPs to be resettled will be provided by KVP in the next meeting. Nairobi Peace Forum can aid in this process.

It was observed that the identification of true IDPs is still a challenge.

Some IDPs have trained in different trades and hence, require start-up capital to finance their small ventures.

1. Mathare

–   Mwangi Kihara, the Chairman of the Mathare United Landlord organization P (MALUO) reported that negotiation between Landlords and illegal occupants of houses in Mathare is ongoing. So far at least 111 illegal tenants have agreed to leave the houses. KVP (Kenya Veterans for Peace) has been facilitating this process.

–    It was reported that some illegal occupants were being supported by the area Chief.

–    Residents in Mathare still fear that they are being marked.

–    Gangs involved in harassing residents mostly come from Baba Dogo area and are largely responsible for the massive destruction of infrastructure. Names are known to police and DC, but nothing is being done to stop them.

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Women still a target as Kenya’s social wounds gape

Women still a target as Kenya’s social wounds gape


By Lisa Ntungicimpaye

NAIROBI, April 24 (Reuters) – More than three months have passed since youths stormed Mary’s home in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, slashing her leg with a machete as she fled.

But the single mother of five still shudders at the thought the men may hunt her down again, rape or kill her because she belongs to a rival ethnic group.

To the outside world, life in Kenya may have returned to normality as a power-sharing accord drew the line under some of the worst tribal clashes since independence from Britain. But for Mary and others like her, the terror goes on.

‘We all used to live together. We don’t know where this evil comes from,’ said the 49 year old, nervously fingering the gash in her leg that has yet to heal.

With no sign yet that the rule of law is returning to her neighbourhood, the Kikuyu woman fears her Luo neighbours may come after her again. She is too afraid to give her last name.

Besides more than 1,200 people killed, 300,000 were uprooted and hundreds more sexually assaulted in the wave of violence and reprisal attacks triggered by President Mwai Kibaki’s disputed re-election in December.

As is often the case, women and children were prime targets: the United Nations said the rate of reported rapes doubled during Kenya’s crisis. The youngest victim was 1 year old.

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1,500 flock to Uganda camps – 18 Feb 08

1,500 flock to Uganda camps

More than 1411 Kenyans who have fled the country after the eruption of post election violence have camped at a Ugandan camp, some 60km from Busia Town. Ms Yumiko Takashima, head of the UNHCR office in Uganda, said the refugees at the Mulanda Community Polytechnic Instructor’s College came from as far as away Kibera slums in Nairobi, while others were from Eldoret, Mt Elgon, Busia, Malaba and Nakuru. Ms Takashima said those fleeing were of different ethnic backgrounds. He assured them that Mulanda was safe for all of them. “We have decided to set up temporary tents with the hope that peace will return in Kenya so that those who have been displaced can go back to their homes once negotiations that are being headed by former UN boss Kofi Annan are complete,” she said.

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