Growing fears in Kinamba

When the results of Kenya’s presidential elections were announced in later December 2007, violence erupted. Many people still suffer the consequences, for example some 700 internally displaced people (IDP) who live in Kinamba on the edges of the Rift Valley. They fled from the valley nine years ago.

contributed to D+C/E+Z in summer 2017. He works for the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internatioanale Zusammeanrbeit) in the context of Germany’s Civil Peace Service (CPS). The GIZ-CPS engages with Kenyan communities and civil-society organisations with the goals of dealing with the past, fostering social-economic justice and building responsible leadership.

An IDP camp in 2013. Curtis/picture-alliance/AP Photo An IDP camp in 2013.

The host community displayed human solidarity by accepting them at a time of rage, killings and wanton destruction. David Gitonga, a community leader in Kinamba, asked the local community to provide the IDPs with roofs over their heads and a sense of security. The support from the community was overwhelming, with 90 % of the respondents agreeing to host IDPs. What ethnic background they had did not matter.

Nine years later, the IDPs are still in Kinamba. A long-term solution is not in sight. Everybody expected their stay to short since they would go back home at some point in time, or be resettled by the government. Neither has not happened.

Today, fear is evident among both the IDPs and their hosts in Kinamba. The IDPs worry they may be kicked out, whereas the hosts are anxious about eventually losing their land to “outsiders”. Depressingly, the situation is not different in many other places where IDPs live.


Related Articles