Lamu, KENYA: Families who fled Ishakani village on the Lamu-Somalia border shortly after Alshabaab numbering more than 100 flushed people out of their homes and forced them to listen to radicalized teachings for over an hour are now appealing for food.
Last Sunday, Alshabaab militants descended on Ishakani village and warned residents not to cooperate with the government nor take rides in military and police vehicles.
Those who wouldn’t adhere to the warning were warned of dire consequences.
Due to the fear and tension created by the ‘visit’ residents fled and deserted the village and are now putting up at makeshift camps in Kiunga, five kilometers away.
They have been at the camps for four days now.
The over 500 residents are now appealing for food and water.
Ishakani village is on the Lamu-Somalia border and residents majorly depend on fishing for survival.
They now say things have been tough ever since they fled their village as they can no longer carry out fishing to take care of their families.
The villagers have sworn not to go back to their villages until the government deploys a convincing number of security officers to the area to enable them to go back home and continue with their day to day activities.
They also expressed concern that their homes might be broken into back in Ishakani and their property stolen and as such urged the government to speed up security measures before that happens.
They are also worried that their livestock which they left behind might be stolen.
“Since we fled and came to Kiunga, we haven’t received any help.We have been on our own.We have no food, no water.We don’t have anything.There’s no fishing here in Kiunga.Our homes have been left unmanned and we are worried that we will be robbed or our property.We couldn’t carry our livestock, we left them back.The government should act fast,” said Abud Athmani.
Many other residents are putting up with friends and family while those who don’t have been forced to set up makeshifts to lay their heads as they await the situation to favor them.
“Many have put up makeshifts using leaves and shrubs.It is not a good situation for anyone to be in,” said Fardiya Kassim.
Drought bites hard in Lamu
This comes as residents in Boni areas of Bahamisi, Kiangwe and Pandanguo villages in Lamu County are appealing for relief food and water from the government and well-wishers .
This is after a rough drought spell left them with nothing.
All wells and boreholes depended upon by the villagers have so far dried up leaving them reeling in thirst together with their livestock.
Villagers say due to the tough situation, they now have to dig up wild roots and gather wild fruits in bushes for survival as they wait and hope that the county and national governments and even well-wishers will remember their plight.
Speaking on Tuesday,Pandanguo village Elder Adan Golja said the over 3000 villagers of Pandanguo,all of whom are from the Boni minority community are in dire need of food and water
He said the Boni community continues to suffer ever since the government cut out all relief help that was being offered to the community and those living around the Boni forest as had been promised during the launch of the Operation Linda Boni back in 2015.
“We are Boni people don’t have anywhere else to get our food or water apart from the Boni forest.However, when the Linda Boni operation kicked off, they asked us not to set foot in that forest or even go close to it until the operation was over.Then they promise to give us food and all other relief help until the operation ends.They only did that for some months and then stopped and now we have nowhere to get food,” said Golja.
Residents of Kiangwe have been forced to drink and cook with salt water after the only freshwater well-turned saline