Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Joint response to support survivors of attacks in Lamu Kenya
Geneva, 30 July 2014
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
Kenya has been experiencing a series of attacks by militant groups in the recent past. After the Westgate attack on 21 September 2013, successive attacks have targeted various settlement towns in Lamu County, located along the Kenyan coastal line. These attacks started on 15 June 2014, when an armed group attacked Mpeketoni Town leaving over 50 people dead. Since then, there have been a series of further attacks, the most recent on Friday 18 July 2014, when militants attacked a public bus running between Malindi and Lamu, killing seven people including four police officers.
The attacks have left 5,574 people living as IDPs or in semi IDP conditions in the following areas:
• Kitale Mavuno with 170 households (1,020 persons)
• Kipini areas with 259 households (1,554 persons)
• Hindi Prison with over 3,000 people
Most of the displaced people are those who are unable to flee to safer areas outside Lamu County.
2. Why is an ACT response needed?
Members of the ACT Alliance Kenya Forum (AKF) have a significant presence in Lamu County. Most national forum members’ activities in Lamu have been severely affected as they have lost some members of their congregation. The AKF is in a unique position, since national members of the forum are part of the affected population.
3. National and international response
A total of 35.29 metric tons of rice and 12.31 metric tons of beans have been donated by the government and distributed by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), reaching 1,288 households since the first attack.
4. ACT Alliance response
The ACT Kenya forum members have carried out a rapid assessment on the needs of the affected communities in Mpeketoni/Lamu and are now working on a preliminary appeal to supplement the local response. The assessment mission was funded by Diakonia Germany and the assessment team consisted of staff from: World Renew, National Council of Churches of Kenya, Anglican Church of Kenya, Presbyterian Church of East Africa and partners like Full Gospel Churches of Kenya and Free Presbyterian Church Kenya. The team was also strengthened by the presence of the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya in Mombasa and the leader of the PCEA women’s guild.
The national AKF members have collected in-kind donations from church followers and others from women’s guilds to respond to the crisis.
5. Planned activities
The AKF will jointly issue a preliminary appeal with a three-level approach, comprised of the following:
i. Emergency response at local level to address identified gaps on food and non-food needs (such
as psychosocial support and restorative justice) for immediate assistance to the affected people including the host community.
ii. Advocacy at national level for heads of national ACT members to engage with the government.
iii. Peace building and reconciliation at regional level involving faith leaders, community elders,
the youth and local political leaders.
Security and continued un-coordinated public statements from both government and opposition politicians are two key challenges for AKF members planning to participate in this joint initiative.
ACT members in Kenya are: Diakonia Germany, Christian aid, Church world service, Diakonia Sweden, Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief, Finn Church Aid, World Renew, DanChurchAid, Church of Sweden, Norwegian Church Aid, National Council of Churches of Kenya, Anglican Church of Kenya, All Africa Conference of Churches, Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa, Presbyterian Church of East Africa.
Any funding indications or pledges should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, Director of Finance (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For further information please contact:
ACT Senior Programme Officer, Katherine Ireri (phone +41 22 791 6040 or mobile phone +41 79 433 0592)
Or ACT Head of Programmes, Sarah Kambarami (+41 22 791 62 11 or mobile phone +41 78 892 1178)
ACT Web Site address: http://www.actalliance.org