Emergency Relief: Post Election violence in Kenya
SOS Children has decided to launch an emergency relief program in Kenya.
The general elections were held in Kenya in late December 2007. Following disputed presidential election results, the country was thrown into a major post-election violence crisis that has to date led to hundreds of deaths, approximately 500,000 displaced people, with women and children bearing the brunt of the post-election violence. The violence has its epicentre in three main provinces; namely The Rift Valley, The Coast and Nairobi. In all these places, SOS Children Kenya has fully operational and long standing projects.
According to the Humanitarian Services Committee of the Government of Kenya and the National Disasters Operation Centre, the displaced persons are in urgent need of food and non-food items which include tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, cooking utensils etc.
The Government of Kenya has awarded for the distribution through the Red Cross 25,000 bags of maize, 6,500 bags of beans, 6,500 cartons of vegetable oil, 6 tonnes of food supplements and 10,000 bags of rice.
Water is being provided through existing systems; however these have remained largely inadequate. Shelter and sanitation remain a challenge, whilst the supplies to date are quickly running out. A huge number of displaced people are said to be sleeping in police stations, schools and churches, with many running out of food and water and tens of thousands beyond the reach of immediate assistance. "A few hundred thousand will need assistance for some time", said Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet.
In Eldoret alone, the local show ground arena plays host to a large number of displaced individuals. A rapid assessment analysis conducted by SOS Children Kenya recently informed that there are 473 children at the show ground, 1007 households totalling a number of 4083 individuals. There are currently 33 orphans between the ages of 2 and 17 stationed at the grounds, as well as 26 lost children whose parents cannot be traced. The St. Jude Catholic Church in Eldoret also plays host to 1,000 displaced individuals.
The rationale behind the intervention
SOS Children Kenya was recently approached by the Kenya Red Cross (KRC) in order to find a medium for uniting and in-turn offering assistance to the thousands of Internally Displaced people (IDPs) that fell victim as a result of the post-election violence in Kenya. SOS Children Kenya has the capacity to offer its existing facilities - especially in the worst affected areas such as Eldoret and Mombasa - as safe haven camps for children who have been disunited from their caregivers and who are currently struggling to find alternative means of care and shelter.
The intervention initiatives will mainly target women and children who require basic essentials such as shelter, food, health care, water, clothing and psychosocial support.
What kind of assistance
The objectives are as follows:
1. Ensure child protection services through the provision of a secured safe haven for children displaced and disunited from their caregivers as a result of the conflict in and around the SOS Children's Villages in Eldoret, Nairobi and Mombasa respectively.
2. Provide child reunification services to lost and orphaned children within the locations of Eldoret, Nairobi and Mombasa respectively.
3. Provide timely emergency relief assistance in order to meet the essential needs, and alleviate the suffering of the women and children (especially those under the age of 5 years) through the provision on food and non-food items to 2,000 most needy individual beneficiaries in partnership with already active organisations. The target beneficiaries will be identified in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross in all three mentioned locations respectively.
4. Provide psychosocial support to 2,000 beneficiaries, mainly targeting children and their care givers within established external emergency camps in Eldoret, Nairobi and Mombasa respectively.
5. Support in terms of opportunities for shelter provision can be developed through the provision of sourced emergency start-up kits (which are compact in size, and average at USD 70 per kit) for the displaced individuals, which will include the following:
4 10Lts deflectable jericans
1 water bucket
2 Plastic sheeting - 4M x 5M (20 square meters)
Pans - aluminium with lids- 2pcs
Enamel plates - deep - set of 5pcs
Enamel cups - 250ml, set of 5 pieces
Bar soap - 1,000 gram piece
Blankets - single bed - 3
Mosquito nets - rectangular - 2 sets
In order to develop the above mentioned initiatives, SOS Children Kenya will seek to partner organisations with the 'know-how' and capacity to provide meals, medical assistance and psycho-social support for the affected individuals. Skills and knowledge can be offered in terms of psychosocial support; however the full workforce (trained volunteers for example) will have to be sourced externally in order to carry out the necessary activities.
The SOS Children's Villages in Nairobi, Eldoret and Mombasa will be utilised as reunification camps for children who have been separated from their parents as a result of the post election violence. Again, SOS Children Kenya would be in a position to provide the facilities in terms of shelter and sanitation for the "lost children", but would need to partner with the KRC which has the knowledge and capacity to facilitate the project.
Scope and duration
The intervention will focus on three prime areas in need:
The target number of beneficiaries - both in terms of attainment of psychosocial support and reunification initiatives is predicted at up to 600 in Eldoret, 700 in Mombasa and up to 700 in Nairobi.
The initial emergency programme will run for a period of six months with the opportunity to extend, depending on the situational analysis and reports that evolve from local government authorities and the IDPC - International Displaced Persons' Centre.
Following the six months, methods of developing the start up emergency programmes into SOS Family Strengthening Programmes in Eldoret, Nairobi and Mombasa respectively, will be examined, so as to ensure continuation of the investment committed to the project. Integrating the lost children that have not been reunited with their caregivers into the SOS family homes will also be looked into.
The situation that is presenting itself in Kenya nationwide as a result of the post-election violence is one of an intense and grave nature. Resources are currently being exploited across the country; many want to help but are overwhelmed by the situation. It is essential that we take action now in order to prevent any further unnecessary suffering where possible.
Relevant Countries: Kenya.