Kenya: Mall Attack (MDRKE027) - Preliminary Final Report


Period covered by this update: 22 October 2013 to 30 June 2014

Appeal amount: CHF 3,581,308

Appeal coverage: 1%

Appeal history:

  • This Emergency Appeal was launched on 22 October 2013 for CHF 3,581,308 to support the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to assist up to 25,000 people affected by the Westgate hostage crisis in Nairobi, for 12 months.

  • Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 204,841 was initially allocated from the Federation’s DREF to support the National Society to respond.

  • An Operations Update n°1 was issued on 17 December 2013 providing a brief overview of the situation and to request for support for this appeal from donors.

  • Operations Update n°2 was issued on 19 December, 2013 and provided detailed information of the activities undertaken and operational challenges faced by the KRCS.

  • This is a preliminary final report, with an interim financial report attached. All activities under this operation have been completed. A final financial report will be issued once all expenditures under the pledge received have been recorded in financial systems, expected in one or two months’ time.

Summary: The Westgate shopping mall was attacked by an armed group on Saturday 21 September 2013 shortly before 13:00. An armed group gained forceful entry into Westgate Shopping Mall and attacked members of the public with hand grenades and gun shots. Westgate Mall was a popular shopping centre with the diplomatic community, Kenyans and foreign visitors. It was a multi-storey building with a basement and rooftop parking that also housed the mainstream department stores, banks, phone centres and electronic shops, boutiques, coffee shops, movie theatre and party/amusement areas.

The Westgate Mall was a convenient one-stop shopping centre for family shopping and entertainment. On an average weekend, around 10,000 people would visit the Mall with the  numbers peaking at lunch time. According to eye witness reports, the attack started with a grenade explosion at a cultural event that was taking place at the rooftop. There were simultaneous heavy gunfire inside the building which lasted for several minutes leaving scores of people injured and several dead. Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) responded to this attack within minutes and was the first responder.

A DREF start-up funding was provided to cover the immediate response that included emergency response, first aid and rescue efforts, including efforts to reduce the number of deaths from the Westgate Shopping Mall attack, reduce delays in blood donation services and for referrals to secondary and tertiary care centres providing emergency care to victims. The initial activities also aimed to reduce the psychosocial effects of the attack among those directly affected and among the general public.
KRCS also launched a one-week countrywide blood donation drive, psychosocial support services across various hospitals within the city, and set up a 24-hour command centre in the vicinity of the Westgate Shopping Mall.

This Emergency Appeal responded to prevent long term psychological consequences for those affected and to promote resilience in the form of improved disaster preparedness and risk reduction. The activities intended to enhance healing, readjustment and reintegration of those directly and indirectly affected by the disaster. The specific activities planned include: setting up of drop-in centres to facilitate referrals, provision of individual and group psychosocial support (including lay-counselling), recreational play centres for children, crisis hotline, setting up of call centres, provision of professional assistance awareness creation sensitization and psycho education, and tracing and restoration of family links.
The appeal also aimed to strengthen the KRCS response capacity, with focus put on equipping the KRCS Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulances.

There is still a need to cater for the longer term needs of trauma counselling for affected persons, as well as ensuring sufficient capacity and equipment in place for saving lives during crisis situations. The Canadian Red Cross contributed to the replenishment of the DREF allocated for this operation and subsequently agreed to transfer this contribution towards the Emergency Appeal.