Bedbugs and Nairobi flies make life unbearable for Lamu IDP’s

Katsaka Kairu IDP camp which is the largest in Lamu county. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu,KENYA:Terror IDPs at Katsaka Kairu in Witu Division, Lamu County have complained of bedbugs and Nairobi flies that are said to have invaded the camp, giving the IDPs sleepless nights.

Many of the IDPs say life at the camp has become unbearable due to the presence of the bedbugs and the Nairobi flies who have already affected many at the camp.

The national government this week ordered the IDPs to go back to their villages with pledges that security had been restored but even so not one has left the IDP camps.

The over 2000 IDPs from Maleli, Kakathe, Boramoyo, Taa, Nyongoro, Jima, Pandanguo and Poromoko villages have vowed to stay put and tolerate the hardships in the camp rather than go back to their homes where they had nothing start their lives on.

They want to be compensated for the time wasted and losses incurred while they stayed in the camps for the last four months.

Speaking at the camp on Thursday,the IDPs said the insects have made life at the camps more miserable.

They said many of them now suffer from skin diseases as a result of the insect bites and that children are the worst affected.

They said many of them sleep on the bare floors of their makeshift camps making them more susceptible to the bedbug and Nairobi fly bites leaving many with ugly visible scars on their bodies.

“So many children have what appears to be sunburn marks all over their bodies due to being bitten by the Nairobi flies.Our bedding are full of bedbugs.There are so many lice here too.We cant stop itching and scratching.Its horrible.We barely get to sleep.They should help us,”said Elizabeth Mwangale,an IDP at the camp.

The camp chairperson Simon Mgumba said many IDPs have health issues due to the poor sanitation at the camps and the infestation of the insects.

He said people,both children and adults have been diarhoering due to the use of dirty water at the camp.

Mgumba said the fact that the camp has no toilets makes it hard for people to dispose off fecal matter which he said easily finds its way to domestic water and food.

He added that may of the makeshift tents leak during the rainy season making life more miserable.

“We don’t have toilets here and in most cases the water we use is contaminated with fecal matter.Sometimes people use the forest but not always.When it rains,the tents leak and people have to be rained on.We are IDPs and the government has a duty to ensure we are okay at least while at this camp,”said Mgumba.

Their concerns come at a time when the county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo has asked the IDPs to leave the camps and go back home saying security has been restored.

They have sworn not to go back saying they don’t believe that security has been restored back home.