MISCC and other stakeholders

MISCC personnel visited the    farmers along Molo Kamwaura route together with the District Agricultural Personnel on 5th June 2008.  They urged to form groups for easy access of information and services. Such groups would also facilitate ease in marketing of farm produce such as peas which do very well in that area. 

 

MISCC participated in a food fair event organized by Sustainable Agriculture Convivium in the central part of Kenya which is a Slow Food Chapter on 13th June 2008. The event brought together exhibitors and participants from the community and organizations. The event was attended by the local government officials among them Chiefs, Ministry of Agriculture personnel and civil society organizations e.g. Youth Action for Rural Development (YARD), Community Sustainable Development Program(COSDEP)Sustainable Agriculture Community Develpment Prgram(SACDEP) and Participatory Ecological Land Use Management(PELUM). Local communities exhibited traditional foods and herbs.  This displayed a wealth of traditional knowledge from the communities which needs to be integrated in community development processes.

 

Between 26th and 27th June 2008, MISCC distributed seeds of peas and vegetables to farmer groups in Tegea, Kio, Githima, Sondu River, Cheptagum, Sinendet and Jogoo.  The idea was to ensure seed multiplication for the next season and eventual formation of revolving credit fund for the groups. During the seed distribution exercise MISCC interviewed Mr Elijah Kimani, an Agribusiness Officer with the Ministry of Agriculture who was supervising ploughing of land for the IDPs, which is a government initiative who informed them that by then 314.5 acres had been ploughed benefiting 293 farmers from Kamara, Keringet and Kuresoi Divisions of Molo District.

 

Remnant Camps Visit

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Between 26th and 28th May 2008 MISCC team visited IDPS who remained behind in camps within Molo Town .The camps included KAG, PAG, SDA, Charismata, Good News and Molo Saw mill.

“I was living at Kapsita farm in Elburgon, I own no land nor house because I depended on hiring both house and land. I lost all I had; where do I go?” Asked Margaret Wanjiku at PAG Camp .The visiting MISCC team found that most of the MISCC discussing with remnants at PAG campremnant IDPS were landless mostly from Molo District. Others were from as far as Kisumu, Kapsabet and Kericho among other places where they were business people. They too lost everything including their business and have now no where to go nor capital to restart their businesses. The remaining few comprises of those who are afraid of insecurity while others are concerned about their school going children who are already schooling in Molo and they are not willing to discontinue them.

MISCC team advised them to form a committee and consult the DC’s on government plans regarding landless and business people.

The team a also visited Moto, Kambala , St Mary’s and Tayari Primary schools which were supported with desks. The teachers appreciated the support and said that the desks have eased learning as pupils sitting condition has been enhanced.

Class in session at Moto Primary. MISCC supported them with desks<

The pupils were also grateful “We are glad for the desks and we welcome you back for more support in future” said Jane Njeri aged 13, a Std 7 class prefect in Tayari primary school.

Sweet home, we are close

            MISCC continues to follow the re-settlement of the IDPs from Molo camps to satellite camps near their farms. On 22/5/08 the team took to Langwenda route, where they passed through Willa centre and entered the Marindas Sheep and Goat Station Camp. Here all the 300 people are members of Githiriga village. Not all have tents, some   are residing in houses within the government centre while others are staying at Karirikania village.

At this camp, Mr. Micheal Ngigi who is the chairman said that they able to access their farms, harvest some vegetables and potatoes, though they still require additional food support from government and well-wishers. They are able to meet as members of one village and share ideas, something that did not happen in Molo. A football match had been played between the youth IDPs and youth from the neighbouring village, which was held on 18/5/08 at Kenjokett primary school and this is positive gesture towards reconciliation. Challenges were also mentioned such as inadequate tents, health facilities, sanitation, food, farming tools and inputs among others. Nursery going children have no learning facility.

At Langwenda camp an Anti-stock theft unit led by Mr Boniface Mkharara is providing security. Mr. Isaac Mwangi Njenga said that they arrived at the camp on 5th May 2008. The camp is holding 74 people. They are able to visit their farms where they harvest some products and the reconciliation process has been initiated. They were faced with food shortage, tents, farm tools and inputs at the time of the visit.  Sanitation is also a challenge and women requested to be considered in provision of sanitary towels.

At Kamwaura (Pharis) camp, 65 people have camped next to Tarakwa Primary School and they are happy to be near home. However, farming equipment and inputs were in shortage.

      At Matunda Catholic Church Camp the team met IDPs receiving food ration. At Kamwaura the IDPs have camped at the Chief’s office and others are housed by friends and relatives. The team also met a former resident of Molo SDA camp Mr Nyangaresi  who said he was glad  to be near home. He said food was more available here compared to life in Molo. 

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.