Kenya Red Cross resumes operations in Baringo

By Margaret Kalekye/Release

The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) has resumed all of its humanitarian operations in Baringo County following a three-day suspension occasioned by the looting of relief food and harassment of KRCS personnel on 24 February 2017 in Moinin, Loruk.

The decision was arrived at in a stakeholder consultation meeting held Tuesday in Kabarnet between the Baringo County government,      the KRCS, the national government council  of  elders and Baringo professionals.

“We have had a fruitful stakeholder meeting and have been assured of the safety of our personnel and resources. As a result, the Kenya Red Cross Society will resume all its humanitarian activities in Baringo County with  immediate  effect,” said  Dr. Abbas   Gullet, Secretary General.

“Part of  our  immediate task will be to reach out to the internally displaced persons and reunite them with their families  as well as support the drought affected  households,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the county government, Governor Benjamin Cheboi  thanked KRCS for its concerns over Baringo County. “Acts of  lawlessness have caused  untold suffering to residents. I commit my life to ensure banditry ends in Baringo. We appreciate the Kenya Red Cross Society and we all should seek opportunities to help those in distress,”said governor Cheboi.

On his part, Gabriel Okwanyo, the county commissioner,  assured stakeholders that measures were in place to ensure restoration of peace in Baringo County.

KRCS had been conducting a series of  activities in Baringo before its temporal withdrawal. The interventions were meant  to support populations affected by both the drought and inter-clan conflict. This included a Cash Transfer Programme targeting 1,546 households  in Baringo North, Baringo South and Tiaty Sub counties.

Plans are underway to scale it up to 3,000households in the three sub-counties, as well as to families that have been affected by the conflict.

Three boreholes had been rehabilitated in Nginyang, Tangulbei and Yattya, while repair of six more is underway. More support               included the provision of ambulance services tracing of missing  persons and psychosocial support to those traumatised by the conflict especially children and  mothers.

Other interventions included the distribution of non-food items to those affected by the internal conflict and peace negotiations       between warring communities.

KRCS will further look into the possibility of partnering  with the  county  government to upscale theatre  services at Marigat Sub        County  hospital and offer  additional  support at Chemolingot Sub County  hospital.

“As a humanitarian agency  we seek for the space to serve and help everyone without facing any barriers.We will be with everyone in  both bad and good times,”  added Dr.Gullet, while thanking the church for providing shelter and food to children affected by the conflict.