Families forced to live in camps over insecurity in Lamu demand compensation

Lamu residents flee villages for Linda Boni bombing to root out al Shabaab. Children from the Boni community have been facing challenges in new schools deemed to be safe PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: Lamu residents who have been forced into camps due to insecurity caused by Alshabaab attacks now want the government to compensate them for losses incurred.

Many are now putting up in camps in various parts of Witu division.

Speaking at the Kastaka Kairu camp which is the largest on Thursday,the now IDPs said their crops and other property had been destroyed by wild animals and herders since they weren’t present to guard their farms and homes.

They want the government to compensate them for their losses and also for the time they will have to stay in the camps until security is normalized.

They said they were aware that herders had taken advantage of their absence and were now freely feeding their livestock on their farms and that there was nothing they could do about it since they were away at the camps.

Currently,over 2000 residents of Maleli, Kakathe, Taa, Mayumbe, Nyongoro, Chumburu, Boramoyo, Pandanguo, Jima and Poromoko villages have fled to camps after they were advised to do so in order to pave way for Linda Boni operation which is aimed at flushing out Alshabaab militants.

They said the government had failed to protect them and their property in their homes and that as such it was only proper that they be compensated for all the losses they have incurred.

The residents said they know life will be tough for them when the operation comes to an end and they are told to go back to their homes since they will not have any food on their farms to depend on.

“We just want the government to pay up for the losses.We have lost food on our farms and in our homes.We know things will never be the same when we go back.Herders have been feeding their livestock on our farms and we know but cant help the situation since we are here.They should pay us even for the time we stay here and cant do any developments in our homes and lives,” said Iha Karisa.

The IDPs also complained that life at the camps was tough since even the food they are given wasn’t enough to sustain their hunger.

“They give us a kilo of unga and a cup of beans a day yet we have families. That’s not even close to an adequate meal but we make since we have no option.They should speed up the operation so that we can go back home but meanwhile,they should pay us for this mess.Its their fault that we are here in the first place.They failed to protect us and now we are here,” said Harufa Godana.