Locals seek refugee at school as clashes erupt

Displaced persons camping in Ndori Primary School. [Sharon Owino, Standard]

Residents of Jimo location in Nyakach sub-county, Kisumu County, have camped at a nearby school after the eruption of ethnic clashes between two bordering communities along the Kisumu-Kericho border.

The clashes have cost two lives. The residents, especially mothers and children, are camping in Ndori Primary School for safety owing to the ongoing attacks that began on Friday.

According to Caroline Obuya, a grandmother to the 19-year-old form four student who was murdered, in the midst of the ongoing conflicts, criminals from the neighbouring community attacked them in their homesteads, destroying property.

"We found the lifeless body of my late grandson dumped by the roadside. We are living in fear and couldn’t wish to spend a night at my house," she said.

The family is seeking justice for their kin, whom they described as a good and impeccable student who had a bright future. As for Justus Omollo, the attacks left him nursing head injuries after he was assaulted by unknown individuals at his homestead on Sunday night.

Omollo said he was getting ready for bedtime when the attackers broke into his house before attacking him. "I was overwhelmed; the perpetrators were too many to defend myself.”

He added that he has since had to move his wife and four children to the school for safety in case the attackers decide to come back.

"Our lives have been disrupted, and we continue to live in fear with no hope of the situation getting better any time soon," he noted.

Omollo said they haven't had a meal since his family and others moved to the school.

Kisumu Businessman Okoth Opande, who is also a resident of the area, distributed food items, blankets and utensils to the affected victims to ease the situation.

Opande has called on leaders from both ends to seek an amicable solution to the situation.

Area Member of Parliament Aduma Owuor said the situation was being contained, adding that the security team is at the scene to ensure no more lives and property are lost.

"It is unfortunate that lives have been lost, but the situation has been contained as I have contacted security heads, even though I couldn't be there physically.”

Aduma has urged his political counterparts from Kericho not to use the situation as a weapon to fight against ethnic differences but bring the two communities into a sitting.

County Commissioner Hussein Alasow asked the residents from both ends to stay calm, adding that his administration was doing everything possible to restore peace.