Missions Insider Report :: Missions Insider
Violence, destruction continues in Mount Elgon, Kenya
May 31, 2007
Ethnic conflict continues in Mount Elgon, a western district of Kenya, over a controversial land allocation.
More than 100 have been killed and tens of thousands have been displaced.
The conflict, which began in November 2006, erupted over a governmental settlement scheme to attract newcomers to the area. The original inhabitants of the region started a bitter battle over the land they believe is rightfully theirs.
The results have been devastating. A large number of tribesmen are now homeless and on the verge of starvation. Fire was set to the homes and food stores of many of the inhabitants of Mount Elgon during the fighting, which has created a severe food shortage. Those whose crops were not destroyed are too fearful to return to the volatile region to harvest.
The displaced have sought shelter in forests or in the caves of Mount Elgon, which must be shared with the elephants that frequently gouge the walls in search of salt licks.
Others have crowded into schools and other government buildings. Some have turned to prostitution and begging. The conflict has produced an increasing number of abandoned children.
Kenya Evangelism Team, a Christian Aid-supported ministry, has planted 25 churches in the region. Ministry leader, Sylvester Okang'o, reports that the homes of 15 pastors were burned. They lost everything in the fires and are currently renting small rooms near the market places. Each room is overcrowded, housing an average of five to 10 people.
Their families are in need of food, clothing, bedding and medicine. Health clinics have been closed and doctors have fled the area. Many are suffering and dying from malaria and typhoid.
In an effort to contain the fighting, the government has canceled the land distribution scheme. However, the violence and destruction continues.
Sylvester asks for the prayers and support of fellow believers.
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