RECONSIDER DECISION

Tana River IDPs protest state order to go back to their homes

The 1,800 families from Mororo village were victims of the recent flash floods

In Summary
  • Approximately 1,800 families from Mororo, two kilometres from Garissa town, are hosted at the Garissa police training IDP camp.
  • Led by camp chairperson Mwajuma Hamaro, the IDPs claim their residences are still flooded and uninhabitable.

 

IDPs from Mororo camping at the Garissa police training camp.
IDPs from Mororo camping at the Garissa police training camp.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Internally Displaced Persons from Mororo village in Tana River county are protesting government’s order asking them to go back to their homes.

Approximately 1,800 families from Mororo, two kilometres from Garissa town are hosted at the Garissa police training IDP camp.

They were victims of the recent flash floods that submerged their homes rendering them inaccessible.

Led by camp chairperson Mwajuma Hamaro, the IDPs claim their residences are still flooded and uninhabitable.

“Yesterday a senior government official visited us here and told us to start going back to our homes. In fact, he was categorical that we should be out in three days. Surely how does the government expect us to go back to our homes that are still submerged?” Mwanajuma posed.

IDPs from Mororo camping at the Garissa police training camp.
IDPs from Mororo camping at the Garissa police training camp.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

She added: “As we speak, most of the mud houses have been completely destroyed and it will require a few weeks to reconstruct them. Now when you tell us to go back home, where are we going to?  This is unfair and inconsiderate.”

She appealed to the government to give them more time until the floods completely recede.

Bakari Yussuf another IDP said while they all want to go back to their homes, the timing is not right. He said majority of them have young families and so going back would not only expose them to waterborne diseases but the children will be affected by pneumonia.

“Personally I have never liked this life of living in the camps. It is just the situation that my family and I find ourselves in. And so the government should be kind and human enough and give us a few more days so that we reconstruct our houses,” she said.

Nurdin Said, a displaced activist at the camp, also criticised the plans to relocate them to their homes.

Mwanajuma Hamaro an IDP from Mororo
Mwanajuma Hamaro an IDP from Mororo
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

“This is a sad moment. We have nowhere to go to. The majority were living in mud brick houses that were washed away by the floods. The only primary school, Hatata Primary School, is still submerged,” he said.

He said the vacation order was premature since they had been in the camp for only three weeks and it was still raining in the region.

He urged the government to relocate them to an alternative camp rather than their still-flooded homes.

Nurdin Saney an IDP from Mororo.
Nurdin Saney an IDP from Mororo.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Ronald Stephen, another displaced victim, also urged the government to reconsider the decision to move them out of the camp until the rains were over.

In a separate interview, Garissa County Commissioner Mohamed Mwabodza said the IDPs came through an emergency programme, adding that those from areas where floods have receded should prepare to go back to their homes.

“The situation is slowly coming back to normal with flood waters subsiding fast. Those whose homes are now dry should go back home and start rebuilding their lives,” he said.

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