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Kenya: 45,720 People Displaced by Clashes in Mt. Elgon

Contact: The Kenya Red Cross Society, (254-20) 603593/608681/13, 0722-206958 cell, 0733-333040 cell,


NAIROBI, Mar. 29 /Standard Newswire/ -- Over 45,720 people (7,620 families) have been displaced following the ongoing clashes in Mt. Elgon that erupted in late December 2006. 137 lives have been lost and over 110 people have been injured by bullets, panga cuts and burns and are being treated. Diseases and infant mortality have increased due to the weather conditions. Of the 137 lives lost, 43 people, that is, 30 children and 13 adults lost their lives due to pneumonia and malnutrition cases. The health facilities have been strained beyond their capacity due to the increased number of patients.


Over 15 schools were adversely affected and closed down and learning severely interrupted in other schools due to the clashes. As security forces continue to restore peace, more people continue to move from their homes for fear of their lives. Residents have been left extremely vulnerable and are in dire need of food, shelter, clothing and water. Prostitution has also escalated as residents attempt to earn a living.


The most adversely affected areas in Mt. Elgon District are Cheptais, Tuikut, Kopsiro, Cheskaki, Kimabole, Kaptama, Kapsokwony and Chebyuk. In Bungoma District, the affected areas are Chwele, Malakisi, Mayanja, Tamlega, Sirisia, Lwandanyi, Tulienge, Machakha and Changara. The clashes are concentrated in Tuikut and Kopsiro areas of Mt. Elgon. The IDPs are living mainly in market centres with relatives, while others are sheltered in churches, schools, mosques and government institutions.


Red Cross Action


The Kenya Red Cross Society has already distributed relief assistance worth approximately Ksh 3 million, as well as vital medical equipment and medicines to Chwele, Malakisi and Cheptais health centres and Mt. Elgon District Hospital. The Kenya Red Cross is also planning to distribute over 500 MT of assorted food items worth over Ksh 11 million. In addition, two rub halls have been erected in Kapsokwony and Cheptais Divisions.


Kenya Red Cross, which is constantly on the ground and has access to the IDPs, continues to conduct regular assessments to determine emerging needs among the IDPs and affected communities. We are urgently appealing for more food, blankets, jerricans, mosquito nets, soap, kitchen sets and clothes.