Lamu village gets facelift

The village houses before (left) The village houses after the transformation. (right). PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Residents of Bahamisi village in Pate island have something to smile about after their entire tattered village houses were given a total facelift thanks to a God Sent donor that is the Al-Khair Foundation.

Al-Khair Foundation Africa, an invited friend and partner to ex-governor Issa Timamy is a UK based humanitarian organization whose founder and president is Imam Qasim Ahmad.

All the 28 houses in the village have been transformed and in their place now stands two bedroom houses fully furnished with beds and other furniture all thanks to the foundation.

The project cost Sh.30 Million.

The villagers have been living in poor conditions with no water, health services, education of food while a majority of their homes lacked common amenities like beds.

Speaking during the official opening of the houses on Monday, Qasim said he was taking a stroll flying around Lamu island one day in 2015 when he noticed what looked like a village that seemed to be crying out for help.

“I decided to touch down and check out the village and what I saw wasn’t fit to be called a village for human staying.I, therefore, took it upon myself to change the lives of these people by building them modern houses,” said Qasim.

The foundation has also undertaken the construction of a modern-day ECDE centre in the village.

The houses also have inbuilt toilets and kitchens much to the relief of the villagers.

Qasim said their major objective is to ensure those living under the poverty line are uplifted and get to lead normal and modern lifestyles just like their privileged counterparts in any society.

He said poor people deserve someone to hold their hands so that they can equally feel included which is the main mandate of the Al-Khair foundation.

Qasim also said the foundation plans to spend an additional Sh.100 Million to install development projects with the aim of uplifting livelihoods all across Lamu county.

“When Allah blesses you, learn to bless others and that’s exactly why the Al-Khair foundation was formed in the first place.We shall continue to do more for the people here,”said Qasim.

On his side, former Lamu governor Issa Timamy who was also present at the opening of the houses thanked the foundation and termed it timely and God sent.

Timamy appealed to the county government of Lamu to make plans and sink boreholes and wells for the villagers and equally set up roads in the village now that the new homes were in place in order to complete the picture.

Timamy has also promised to monitor all the development projects he initiated while he was governor in order to ensure residents get their well-deserved services.

“I won’t stop making follow up of all projects that I started.I owe it to the Lamu people.Thats why I am here commissioning this houses.I shall also continue sourcing for donors to continue coming and helping the people here.You don’t stop being a leader,” said Timamy.

Nusura Msuo, a beneficiary of the two bedroom houses said they were more than overjoyed as they will now get to lead normal lives.

“We used to go to the bushes to relieve ourselves but now we have toilets right inside our houses plus the houses are fully furnished with beds and other furniture.Many of us only dreamt of such a life but now we are living it and it feel great.God bless the Al-Khair foundation,”said Msuo.

Bahamisi village is home to a mixture of the Boni minority community and native Bajunis who fled to the village from Kiunga in Lamu East following the Shifta war in 1964.