The Visit To Jogoo, Total, and Mau Summit On 21st May 2008

Jogoo is located 12 kms from Molo Town and about 3.8km from Total Junction.  Jogoo boarders: Mlima, Rironi farms and farming is main means of livelihood and income generation.

            Jogoo school is 1.5 kms from the main road of Nakuru – Eldoret road and it has hosted Despite challenges at Jogoo primary school camp, this old man is busy making handles for hoes to make a livingsome of the many displaced persons who have relocated from the sawmill camp and other areas when violence broke out.  Mr. Njoroge is the head-teacher who has returned to Jogoo primary school to assess the damage meted on it and the surrounding farms early in the year. The school had 716 pupils before the violence but only 20 have returned.  The IDP’s who now camp at the school near their farms have been pleading for assistance especially tents and food since they relocated here on 9th May 2008.

Impact of violence on school

 

            Destruction/looting of school property had included:-

                        – Removal School windows for most classrooms

                        – vandalizing of electricity gadgets and cables

                        – Removal of roofing materials i.e. iron sheets on classrooms  

                        – Destruction of desks

                        – Burning of exam room/resource center

                        – Removal and destruction of books from library          

 

Pupils:

            The pupils from Jogoo primary were transferred or absorbed in Even wild vegetation seemed to know the place was deserted! They overgrew the signboard.schools in Molo but a number are returning only to find their school occupied by the refugees. The nursery school is running and has 20 children of between 5-7 years and the enrolment is growing. Some pupils from Jogoo village have been absorbed in Koige School. Mrs. Roselida Kakai who is a nursery school teacher said that, children had not been able to return since many parents wish to assess security situation first before bringing their children over.

 

The visit         

            MISCC team explained the purpose for the visit as following up and monitoring how the IDPs were coping in the “new” environment; access to food and other supplies; benefits of being near home and challenges faced. The camps leader Mr. David Kahwae explained some benefits of being near their homes

         They are glad to be near home.

         They are able to gather vegetables from their plots for preparing meals.

         They feel the essence of belonging at Jogoo place and are able to meet as a community. Mr. Njoroge headmaster of Jogoo said, “We have been able to come together as people of Jogoo and share with each other as neighbors.”  He also said that they were welcoming ideas and advise from all well-wishers.

The camps leader lamented that they had not been able to meet the local administrators to discuss the challenges facing them and integration process. They have engaged the services of the local authority politician to help arrange meetings with the administrators.

Some of them challenges facing them include

                Insufficient utensils and other items

         Inadequate   food

         Suspicion between communities

 

 Pondering on the next move, these women seem to consider as they prepare a meal at Jogoo Primary School camp!The visiting team advised the community to cultivate peace and harmonies coexistence for community development and positive future for their children. The cited examples of other areas where integration, peace and reconciliation process was gaining ground eg . Sundu River.

“Operation back home” At last Kuresoi Division IDPs are closer to their farms

 

Every Journey starts with a single step, which determines the MISCC team discussing with IDPs at Kio centredestination. The IDPs in Kuresoi Division of Molo District are proud and appreciate being closer to their farms even as they face other challenges. On 20th May 2008 MISCC team made a fact finding trip on resettlement of the IDPs, benefits and challenges facing them as they settled.

Kuresoi Division was a “hot spots” during the violence that left behind property torched, destroyed and looted and many people displaced.

 At Tegea Centre where the team found IDPS filling in forms on losses and damages at the chief’s camp. Among them were those who came back from Molo camps and those who had remained behind.  “We are happy to camp near our homes but we have no farm tools, seeds nor fertilizers for our farms” said Mama Jack. She further said that food was still a challenge, though they are able to get some vegetables and potatoes from their farms.

The team also met Mr. Makori the chief for Mkulima location who expressed appreciation for support given to IDPS but further added, “water is not a problem in this area, we would rather be supported with farming tools, equipments, seed and fertilizer to help the farmers restart their farming” He went on to say “if a child starts walking, the mother leaves him and watches him walk.” He explained that he had registered over 2500 residents living within the centre and life was gradually returning to normal. The chief further emphasized on the need to revitalize the pyrethrum enterprise for faster economic recovery. Mkulima primary school with student capacity of 300 has only three teachers who can hardly cope with the learning demand for the students. Some students especially candidates for standard 8 and form 4 have were left behind in Molo town schools.

To Kio and Githima Centres, about 40 km from Molo, the team was accompanied by Mr. Kosgey from the Ministry of Livestock Development who is part of peace and reconciliation initiative in the areaYoung Mwangi prepares lunch for his siblings at Githima Camp. The IDPs at this camp confessed that they received warm welcome from their neighbours upon arrival back from Molo. They further said that they were now able to access their farms are able to source food and firewood from there. Water is plenty and some are generating income through harvesting of pyrethrum which they sell to the local traders after drying. Children are back in Kio primary school which has thirteen teachers and 300 pupils.

The most pressing challenge for these people was leaking roof for their temporary residence, which is a public hall located at the shopping centre. “We are suffering from cold and the roof is leaking” lamented one grandmother. She further added that when it rains they have to congest themselves in one corner. Towards alleviating this situation, MISCC has purchased 10 irons sheets and paid for the labour for the repair. Mr Kosgey is supervising the repair work.

Molo IDPs Appreciate Support in Style

It is human nature to remember and voice it when they are wronged or denied but few remember to appreciate when supported or assisted.  Molo IDPs have astonished many including members of the MISCC who have been following up and monitoring the resettlement programme which has brought the IDPs to camps in their village from where they are able to access their farms.

            When the team visited Nyakinyua village on Thursday 15th May 2008, it met Tabitha Wangechi who benefited from baby care support provided by MISCC when she was preparing for maternity as she resided at Good News camp in Molo town.  She received among other items napkins, towels, baby shawls, baby clothes, soaps and baby oil.  When later she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, she decided to name the boy “Samuel Muhunyu” after the Country Coordinator for NECOFA who was also coordinating support by MISCC. 

            At Cheptagum school camp on Friday 16th May, the team was again surprised when the camp IDP’s brought close to 100 kg potatoes as gift to the team in appreciation for the support provided by MISCC.  The potatoes were part of the volunteer crops they had harvested from their farms upon return. 

            The two gestures and the many “thank you” messages that MISCC has received from IDPs and schools are clear manifestation of gratitude and positive values still treasured by the recipients after going through very hard times.    

Visits To Village IDPsCamps On Molo-Sitoito Route

IDPs camping at Kamuri trading centre close to their farms queue for water MISCC members continued to follow up and monitor the IDPs resettlement, which is a step towards returning their farms and more food production.
On 16/5/008 the team took to Sitoito route with first stop at Kamuri trading centre in Temoyetta Block 5 farm as well as Rwang’ondu farm. Their 14-tents camp is by the roadside, where the team engaged with the “Camp” Chair Mr. Nahashon Ngari and other members in conversation. The IDPs came to this camp on 9th May and were happy to be near their homes since they are able to access their farms, get some vegetables and ‘volunteer’ potatoes. “It is unlikely for children to sleep hungry since we get some food from the farms.” said Mr. Nahashon. “We are less congested here unlike in Molo and the air and environment are fresher,” added another member. Their children are yet to rejoin school since Ndege primary school has not reopened. Ndege nursery school is operating and parents are making arrangements for their children to join it. The farmers identified lack of farm inputs (seeds and fertilizers) and farm tools as main challenge as they embark to resettle back on their farms.

The MISCC team also visited Kenjoketty camp where only 2 families had tents, while others are accommodated by well-wishers or rented small rooms in the centre. They also said that they are happy to be near their farms despite the hard times. They are able to get fresh food like vegetables and this reduces dependence on food aid and contributes to improved nutrition for their families. Food supply by government and well-wishers has not been forthcoming and at time of visit the camp had not received any food since coming back.
Mr. Wilson Ongesa ( an IDP) said that he had not camped in Molo but stayed at the centre but he had remained behind at Kenjoketty centre. He said that, they too should be considered for support together with other IDPs.

A woman gives her views at Sundu River camp IDPs returned back to Sundu River centre (in camp) from Molo on 7th May where the neighbours (previously ‘adversaries’) received them and gave them food. This gesture was surprising for the incoming IDPs but was good entry point for peace building. The IDPs are happy to have family reunion and the warring groups have had meetings on peace and reconciliation. By being closer to their farms they are now able to get firewood collected from their own farms. They too lack farming inputs, equipments, and beddings and request for support.
The MISCC team was impressed by the developments in the resettlement and proceeded towards Sitoito and made a stop at Arimi Camp where they found some IDPS who had returned. They too said being near home, where food was available and free, was the best gift from the government. The team continued to Sitoito centre where they learned that most of the IDPs are housed by those who remained behind during the violence. While security has been beefed up, some areas are still volatile and unaccessable including Ndeffo , Kenya Nguirobi, Kariba and Cheponde.

At the Cheptagum Primary School camp, the team met Mr. Richard Nyakoe and others who happened to have been at SDA Camp in Molo. They had returned on 5th May and 100 families of Cheptagum Farm are camping at the school. There was joy as the IDPs met the visiting team with the former appreciating the visit as true “comradeship” and partnership. The IDPs requested the visiting team to assist them in informing well wishers provide them with farm inputs, farm tools and other support.
“The school has very low number of pupils i.e 270 while the capacity is 600 pupils” said Mr. Abel Otwori the Deputy Head teacher who was also present during the visit. Peace building, reconciliation and integration with the other community has started. The visiting team encouraged the communities to meet regularly to dialogue and reconcile.

Re-Establishing Upendo Nursery School

MISCC meeting with Upendo Nursery school parentsMISCC established 6 nursery schools in camps to provide learning and feeding opportunity for children between 3 and 5 years. Now that the families are relocating to smaller camps near their farms it is monitoring the resettlement programme and also schooling opportunities for the children.

Upendo Primary School is located 5.6.km from Molo town and 2km from Kangawa marrum road along Molo-Mau Summit Road. The school was funded by the farmers who settled at Kangawa-Upendo farm. The school has capacity 450 pupils 9in classes one to eight) but currently only 100 pupils have reported back.MISCC official, Mr Gadson(Headteacher) and Elizabeth (Teacher, Upendo Nursery) shae a light moment outside the nursery
The school has two sections primary and nursery. The primary section receives support from the government in the free education programme while parents are expected to support the nursery school section. The nursery section has 45 children ranging between 3-5 years but the parents are not in a position to support it. In meeting with parents, shortage of learning materials: chalks, books, text books, drawing charts, marking pencils, files and 2 teachers’ allowances were identified and MISCC was requested to assist. MISCC provided the materials on Tuesday 20th May and learning commenced. The head teacher Mr. Gadson Mwaniki of Upendo primary thanked MISCC for the gesture and further Presentation of stationery at Upendo Nursery Schoolindicated that the actio0n would help lay good foundation for learning for the children next year in class one. MISCC will support the nursery for short period until the parents are able to take over responsibility (when they have harvested and possibly sold crops). The parents unanimously elected Mr. Mwangi to chair the nursery and promised to cooperate to ensure smooth implementation of the project. A representative of NCCK/ UNICEF (another support agency) promised to support the school with recreational equipments.

Nyakinyua Displaced people return home

 Though without a roof, a shop has been reopened at Nyakinyua trading centre where he has used a tent as a roofMost victims of elections related violence have relocated to camps near their farms. For Nyakinyua, one of the hot spots of the violence, they are camped in 2 smaller camps wit mixed feelings. Nyakinyua displaced people who were happy to return near their farms after four months of agony in the camps are grateful to breathe again the breeze that had been withdrawn from them.  Compared to life in the camps, the residents feel appreciative of normalcy that is stealthily coming back.  One of the displaced persons was heard saying, “we feel warmed up, being at home and alive despite the losses of property and livelihood.”  Said Mr. Githaiga.  Although the months before had been rough and hard for the displaced persons, the people at Nyakinyua are willing to start farming their plots for food security.
 The Molo IDPs Support and Coordination Committee (MISCC) visited the place Happy to be back home, these two gentlemen have pitched a tent in their home compoundas one of its follow-up and monitoring programmes to encourage and support the IDPs as they settle back and restart life in their farmlands.
 Camping of Nyakinyua residents near homes gives them the courage to attend to their farms and prepare the already late cultivated plots.  Food has been quite limiting and people are hungery in these camps. Another limiting factor to realization of resettlement initiative is that both sides have not been prepared for peace building.  There are places where fences to private plots have been removed which give direct access to livestock to the other peoples, farms.  This unless attended to, could “brew” another conflict once crops are planted in those plots.
Young children give a helping hand to their mother as she prepares supper at Nyakinyua camp near their home Nyakinyua School has not opened and was victim of the violence and people are lacking school to take their children.  MISCC is consulting with Ministry of Education and other players towards intervening in making learning facilities available. Tents are still a challenge to accommodate the population that has camped near their farms.
 As the clouds begin to gather up for the heavy rains, there is lack of farm tools for land preparation.  The process for peace building, recovery and reconciliation needs to be stepped up.  MISCC is working out formula for “fast tracking” food security and community development. 

Back in Karirikania village and hope for peaceful Co-existence

Karirikania Primary School that was started in 1973 takes care of 1010 pupils, 14 of them physically disabled. The school has not opened Debris of Karirikania Primary School which is now undergoing reconstruction by the military forcesince December 2007 and the children are out of school. Why? It suffered wanton destruction during the elections related violence early this y

ear with classes and dormitories destroyed, looted or burnt down. Military personnel are busy reconstructing the school and hopeful, the pupils especially the handicapped ones will have a centre for learning soon.

The police and the military are providing security to the newly established Karirikania IDP camp that is temporary home to about 80 families (351 people) who have relocated from bigger camps in Molo to be near their farms. The farmers are happy to be within their farms. Committee member Mr. Kariuki says “w

e have reliable security and water. Our women collect firewood easily unlike when we were in Molo where people queued for water and used maize stalk as fuel.” Another member Lucy Wanjeri adds “I have just come from my farm and brought back vegetables for dinner and napier grass for my cow.” The camp members are happy to be re-united with their families who previously lived in different camps in Molo and beyond and to be with people they have known most of their lives.

They are however faced with a number of challenges that include lack of bedding materials in the cold tents in the night, childrenIDPs camping at a Karirikania near their farms are yet to rejoin schools including nursery children; the health facility at Molo South still closed and therefore community members are unable to access medical services easily at close proximity; lack of seeds and farm tools; food supply is limited even as they embark to produce their own, school fees for children in secondary schools, soaps and detergents and sanitary towels.

Peace is gradually returning in the village between the different ethnic communities that mainly include Kikuyu, Kalenjins and Kisiis. Peace and reconciliation efforts were further boosted on 13th May 2008 by a visit by the former president Daniel Moi. In his speech at Muchorwe center

the former president asked residents of Rift Valley province to shun ethnicity and violence. He urged all leaders to preach peace and to involve elders of all communities in peace and reconciliation initiatives.

Former President Moi addressing residents of Muchorweon 13th May 2008

The former president asked the government to revitalize farming in the area saying that this will ensure food availability and fast track economic recovery.

The people of Karirikania are very optimistic and determined to continue.