Kenyans in UAE donate to Faza disaster appeal

from Kenya Red Cross
Published on 07 Oct 2009 View Original
One month after a fire tragedy in Faza Island, in Lamu, on 5th September 2009, that left 2,500 people homeless and 430 houses razed down, several efforts have been made to assist the affected people.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), Secretary General, Abbas Gullet, commended all well-wishers, both in Kenya and the Diaspora, for their support towards reconstruction of homes in Faza Island.

On 6th October 2009, Mr Jalal Balala, the Business Development Manager of Dubai based Tasmo Commodities, donated to KRCS Ksh1 million on behalf of Kenyans in the United Arab Emirates, to support the reconstruction of Faza Island. The KRCS Secretary General thanked Kenyans in UAE for their generous donation.

Since the tragedy, Mr Gullet said, the Society had been providing humanitarian aid to the residents including food, non-food items, health and sanitation. KRCS is working jointly with the Ministry of Health in providing healthcare to those affected by the fire tragedy.

At least 430 houses were affected during the inferno that swept through the Island, leaving at least 214 homes totally destroyed. Immediately after the tragedy, KRCS distributed 600 blankets, 600 collapsible jerrycans 300 tarpaulins, 180 kitchen sets, 600 pieces of bar soaps, food and clothing, to the affected people.

Last month, the President H.E. Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Raila Odinga, presided over a fundraising that helped raise Ksh64 million for the reconstruction of the homes in the island.

Kenya Red Cross thanks all well-wishers who have assisted the affected families. Those who have made their donations through KRCS include the National Museums of Kenya, United Nations Office in Charge of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) which donated Ksh3.7 million (US$50,000), World Vision Kenya which donated relief materials worth Ksh1,169,000 ($US15,587), Iranian Red Crescent (Ksh2 million) and Mrs Naushad Merali (Ksh1 million). Safaricom Limited has pledged Ksh1.5 million to the Faza Island Disaster Appeal and most recently Kenyans in the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Gullet said 250 tents had been dispatched to Faza to provide temporary shelter to the residents, while awaiting reconstruction of their houses. Already, 60 tents have been pitched in two camps. A team of architects had been sent to Faza Island and was expected to complete their work later in the week. A detailed plan from the architects was expected to help in mapping and re-planning new settlements in the Island.

The reconstruction of one house is estimated to cost Ksh500,000. Some local resources such as lime and timber are earmarked for the reconstruction, which will also boost the local economy.

Another team was dispatched by KRCS to Faza, Pate and Kizingitini islands for hydrological investigation, which would provide a professional opinion on availability of ground water for exploration. The residents rely on water-boating and rain water harvesting.