It’s election time here in Kenya and there is, most definitely, tension in the air. After the horrific back-lash of the alleged election rigging in 2007/8 – which killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands of families – Kenya is on tender hooks, desperately praying for a peaceful election this time round. We, too, are watching the atmosphere closely and are taking all necessary precautions to ensure we are safe and secure just in case anything goes wrong. The optimist in me hopes we are being over-cautious and that Kenyans have learnt from last time, or the wounds of 2007/8 are still fresh enough to ensure peace this time. In one camp, many people are supporting this view, saying that Kenya cannot crumble once more. This, combined with the world’s eyes being on this election, make the optimist in me confident. Nevertheless, the tenuous predictability and fragility of the situation – the high levels of expectation and tension – make me weary that anything could push the country from calm to chaos.
By taking precautions then, Our Home Nakuru is hoping to become a mini haven where we are 100% comfortable that we will not be affected by any form of political violence. To do just this, we have been stocking the larder to the brim with beans, rice, flour and a whole variety of different foods that can last, just in case we get held up in the house. In 2007, people were stuck in their own homes for up to a month. So, even though we are optimistic towards this election, we are preparing ourselves for the worst and have enough food for a whole month. This could not have been possible without the support of the local and international communities, supporting what we are doing. In particular, the efforts of 1st Dawley Brook Scout Group in Kingswinford to raise £500 (70,000ksh) have helped immensely and have provided enough to not only stock our larder but also have enough left over to hire extra security for the home. Thanks to their annual charity sleigh collections we are ready to face any dangers if they come, and be safe in the knowledge that our children will come to no harm if any tensions do arise.
Sadly, there are thousands of other families all over Kenya still at risk of displacement, disturbance and even worse because they are simply too poor to leave the ‘hotspots’ where violence is bound to occur. If anybody would like to support any families during this period, please contact us for further information and we can organize protection and food security for families that need it the most.
Here’s hoping for a peaceful election next Monday (4th March) and a step in the right direction for democracy. We’ll keep you posted on how things pan out…