Internally displaced persons living in Thika and who are also victims of 2007/2008 ethnic crisis have finally been compensated.
The IDPS who have been clinging to hope that the government will one day compensate them have survived 11 years of turmoil and dependency.
Most of them have been living in abject poverty in sprawling Kiganjo, Kiandutu, Athena and Witeithie villages in Thika where most of them were absorbed by locals.
Their compensation follows completion of a verification process of genuinely integrated IDPS and who formed a lobby group to ease their quest for compensation.
Kianjau welfare IDPS group and which was registered in year 2010 has about 500 members. 103 among the members were through Equity bank tokened with Sh 5.15 million, money they have welcomed and thanked Jubilee governments for.
Although other batch is awaiting finalization of their payments, they have pleaded the government to speed up the process.
About 26 IDPS who used to live in Molo, Eldoret, Kericho, Bomet and Yatta in Kisumu County but relocated to Thika after crisis have since died.
Others have been depressed, distressed and lost hope of life as they tried to unclog the uproar they went through that season of unforgettable memories.
Speaking in Thika, Peter Kimani Muiruri, one of the members said that life has been unforgiving and harsh to them since the post-election violence hit the country leaving many dead.
Muiruri narrated how life changed after the ethnic crisis leaving him poor. He however said that despite the government’s commitment to compensate them with Sh 400,000 each, members of the group only received Sh 50,000.
Although the funds will help them meet some of the challenges they have been facing, Muiruri said the token of appreciation did not meet their expectation.
Elizabeth Nyambura, a frail woman who has been living in Kiandutu with his granddaughters said that most of the IDPS have undergone hard moments singling out rejection, stigmatization and being looked down upon by the society.
With the help of Susan Gitau, a professional counselor and who have been pushing for the compensation, Nyambura said that those injured have recovered and are now living normal lives.
Speaking form her Thika office, Gitau said that despite locals doubting presence of genuine IDPs in Thika, the payment of first batch was enough prove that a section of Kenyan IDPs still live uncompensated.
“We thank the government for heeding to our daily push of Thika IDPs compensation. Finally, the justice has finally been served and we hope that the government will honour the remaining Sh 350,000 which I believe will restore sanity in IDPs livelihoods,” she said.
The IDPS have since their adoption to Thika community been receiving psychological counseling at Africana College-Thika under the stewardship of Gitau who have also been feeding them.