The over 40 families who fled from Milimani and Mangai villages in Lamu and sought refuge at Bodhai are in dire need of food, Nation.co.ke has established.
The people, majority of them children and women, took refuge in Bodhai and put up camps following the Saturday incident where over 100Al-Shabaab militants stormed neighbouring Basuba Village and lectured the locals for over an hour.Speaking to Nation.co.ke in his office on Tuesday, Lamu Branch Kenya Red Cross Society Coordinator Mr Mohamed Abdulkadir said the families have nothing to eat or drink since Bodhai is an area which is almost semi-arid.
Mr Abdulkadir said the displaced families, mostly from Milimani Village which was completely deserted by Tuesday and others from Mangai had no water, something that has forced many of them to leave the safety of the camps and walk for kilometers in search for water and food.
The families fled from their homes, 14 kilometers away, at the weekend and early this week in for fear of attacks.
RED CROSS UNABLE TO REACH THEM
He said it was currently impossible for the Red Cross to reach the families and offer aid due to the existing threats of landmines being planted by Al-Shabaab on the route and that they were waiting for proper transport facilitation from the Nairobi head office to safely access the affected areas.
“I am aware that the over 40 families putting up camps at Bodhai are already experiencing difficulties. They don’t have water, food and also lack medication.
“We are really willing to go there and assist but the place is unsafe.
“We have had incidents of vehicles running over landmines on the Hindi-Kiunga road and we fear such risks.
“We are, however, looking forward to receive directions from the Nairobi head office. We will go there soon to offer our assistance,” said Mr Abdulkadir.
He also confirmed that 15 more families from Milimani and Mangai were camping at Bar’goni and said they were making plans to evacuate all the affected families from the terror-prone region to a more secure location in Bar’goni or Hindi where they can be effectively assisted without having to fear for their lives.
The residents opted to flee to Bodhai since the area has a military and police camps.
Those who spoke to the Nation said they no longer felt safe in the area considering the number of times Al-Shabaab terrorists have been invading their villages.
Lamu County Police Commander Chrispus Mutali said they were making efforts to ensure normalcy is restored in the region and that people go on with their lives as usual.
He appealed to the locals to cooperate with the security forces and give information that will enable fight Al-Shabaab.
Mr Mutali, however, denied reports that security officers were mistreating residents of Lamu East.
“We want to wipe these militants. I can confirm to you that our operation is very successful.
“I am appealing to the citizens to cooperate with us and be ready to give (us) information.