A Story of Perseverance

These photographs were taken at a place called Wiyumiririe, a Kikuyu word meaning perseverance on 28 March 2012. I was on my way from Eldoret in the Rift Valley to Isiolo in Lower Eastern for dialogues with communities in those towns on their views concerning national reconciliation. The people captured in the photographs represent 1,500 families who were internally displaced following the post 2007 election violence in Kenya and are being resettled on this land which is approximately 5,000 acres. The make-shift structures are very similar to the houses they constructed for themselves while they lived at the IDP camp Mawingu, which is Swahili for clouds. It is at Mawingu that they fled to for safety when the violence erupted in Rift Valley.

Wiyumiririe is befitting of the endurance of these victims of the violence. Theirs is a true story of perseverance. This resettlement effort by the Government of Kenya is one of the many initiated country-wide to respond to the urgent need to resettle approximately 600,000 individuals who were displaced from their homes following waves of attacks in late 2007 and early 2008.

The District Commissioner whom I met that afternoon informed me that the last of the IDPs to be resettled at Wiyumiririe were scheduled to arrive later that afternoon. Shortly thereafter two bus-loads of people arrived. There was a visible excitement among the new residents of Wiyumiririe. Those on the ground were running to meet their friends and loved ones in the buses. Many of the resettled people shared their joy in finally have places they can call home.

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