The Star (Nairobi)

26 February 2013

Kenya: Red Cross and Safaricom Build Houses for Tana Delta IDPs

The Kenya Red Cross society and Safaricom Kenya have launched a campaign to help resettle IDPs in Tana Delta. The IDPs are victims of deadly clashes that took place in the area four month ago.

The two organisations are already constructing houses for the more than 40,000 people in the clashes that left more than 200 people dead. KRC officials who are implementing the project sponsored by Safaricom said they will built 846 houses.

The Malindi KRC branch coordinator Hassan Musa, who is supervising the construction work, said 60 houses will be complete today and will be commissioned by the Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and KRC's boss Abass Gullet.

Speaking on the phone, Hassan said the houses that are complete are in Reketa and Kau from the Orma and Pokomo communities. He said they will also build houses in Kilelengwani, Nduru, Chamwanamuma, Kibusu, Kilelengwani, and Ozi villages.

In Reketa, 52 people were killed, while 38 died in the other villages at the height of the clashes in September. Hassan said the IDPs are willing to return home and assume their normal lives once more.

Musa said already the locals from both communities had expressed willingness in returning their homes and assured them of maximum assistance to ensure they returned to their normal activities like before.

Earlier he said they had faced slight resistance from some of the locals who wanted police posts t be built in their areas before they could return.

However he said they discussed the issue with provincial administration who sorted it out to build confidence for the locals.

Currently he said a team of Kenya Red Cross officials were on the ground going on with reconstruction while others helped in ferrying of the materials so that work could be done easily.

The Red Cross coordinator said the reconstruction work was a symbol of peace for the locals who were returning to their homes in large numbers.

Thousands of people fled their homes after the deadly clashes organized by gangs from both communities since August last year. Those affected fled their homes and live in camps while others sought refuge in neighboring districts.

The government imposed a curfew in the area when the clashes heightened leading to the death of nine police officers and theft of one firearm and 580 rolls of ammunition.

Kenya redcross has been in the forefront in responding to the incidents of attacks together with brokering of peace to ensure normalcy returns in the area.

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