Ishakani villagers get relief food after al Shabaab raid

Lamu woman representative Ruweida Obbo during the distribution of food and other items at Ishakani area on the Lamu-Somalia border, February 4, 2018. /Cheti Praxides

More than 90 families at Ishakani area on the Lamu-Somalia border received relief food on Sunday following a raid by al Shabaab terrorists.

The government distributed 300 bags of rice, 200 of maize,150 of beans, 50 cartons of cooking fat and 100 boxes of soap.

The recipients fled the village on January 14 after militants numbering more than 100 attacked, flushed residents out of their houses and forced them to listen to summons on radicalisation for more than hour.
The families put up makeshift structures in Kiunga area, five kilometers away, before security officers convinced them to go back home.

They had pleaded for aid while at the camps but Lamu county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo had said only those who went back home would be assisted.

Speaking at Ishakani today, Kitiyo said security had been heightened in that area and throughout Lamu so there was no cause for alarm.
“We are glad that the people of Ishakani listened to us and went home because we have ensured they will be safer than ever,” he said.

“We understand the situation left many without a steady supply of food and that’s why we have come to help. We shall do more to ensure citizens here are not only safe but also comfortable.”

Lamu woman representative Ruweida Obbo noted the government’s duty to protect and help citizens in vulnerable situations. She said many faced hunger due to drought.

“Leaders need to push all the buttons in their reach to ensure their people get all the help they need. The drought here is bad so people really need food and water. I hope we join hands as Lamu leaders and ensure people get food.”

Residents of Pandanguo and Bahamisi in Lamu West sub-county also asked for donations of food. Rivers and other water sources have dried up due to the drought.

“We can’t afford two meals a day. Most families eat once a day and the amounts are not enough. Children are suffering. Every water source has dried up. We need help,” said village elder Adan Golja.