We in TSM had indicated that we will continue supporting the refugees in Dadaab. Following the kidnap of aid workers from the camps by Al-shabaab and the subsequent war by Kenya defense forces wedged in Somalia, many agencies at the camps pulled out from work in the camp waiting for restoration of security. Only people serving here were essential services staff… but things have increasingly taken a different turn.
On the 20th December 2011 we had began preparations for Christmas week celebrations for the refugees in Ifo. It was to begin with children programes and parties gathering in this Gambelle Community church. All their teachers and parents were pleased to participate TSM facilitated the programes.
It is vital to create normalcy among them at this time of great tension. We have been bared from gathering in big groups so we split them into several groups gathering in different camps.
While the parties were going on, there was another blast! This time it was a grenade and in Ifo camp where we were gathered. This was targeted at security patrols at the camps only a day before 19th we had a land mine blow up a police truck killing two. We are obviously not safe here!
This time around it seems as though everyone opted to leave Dadaab for Nairobi or elsewhere but here. TSM had planned to distribute food to refugees in Ifo in Dadaab the week before Christmas to allow the Christian families some memorable time. You should note that with the blast No one wanted to commit staff here for distribution of food.
WFP who had the responsibility to do this withdrew staff and are now delaying the ration distribution until further notice! What are the refugees to do?
We had to honor our commitment and bring food to over 1000 families we have been responsible for. We wanted our giving to coincide with Christmas. We in this have answered a desperate call for food this is what they will have for the next while.
TSM sent two loads of Lorries with food maize floor, beans, oil and sugar. We were being waited for eagerly. This will go a long way to support lives at the camp!
Thank you very much for your prayers for us and support that has enabled us provide this service. Blessed season!
Rev Canon Francis Omondi,