Security conditions in Kenya are deteriorating rapidly, according to United Nations officials who report that more than a dozen civilians have been killed in political violence, and 70 houses burned, in the past 24 hours.
The Government estimates that 685 people have been killed in the violence, which first erupted in the East African nation a few weeks ago after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner over opposition leader Raila Odinga in December elections. The crisis has also forced some 255,000 to flee their homes.
According to UN security officials, seven people were killed in Kipkelion and 70 houses burned in the Aldai area of Rift Valley province. In addition, five people were shot dead and 30 shops burned in Trans Nzioa, while four people were killed in Korogocho, Huruma and Mathare slums.
Meanwhile, UN agencies have completed an assessment tour of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the town of Molo, where they found an urgent need for shelter, blankets, water and sanitation.
The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) sent teams out to several towns, including Nairobi and Eldoret, to assess damaged homes, and verify the number of persons and conditions in IDP camps, as well as review water and sanitation needs.
There is reportedly a scarcity of cooking fuel in several IDP camps, according to the UN Country Team, which noted that IDPs in Eldoret have begun burning construction material for cooking.
Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has continued its immunization campaign against measles and polio in all the IDP camps. And, working with Kenyan authorities, the World Food Programme (WFP) has finalized a new distribution plan to assist some 67,000 people affected and displaced by the crisis in the Rift Valley.