I am from Baringo. If you’ve ever taken a road trip to this beautiful county you have had the privilege of experiencing the breathe-taking scenery and the straight tarmacked road with smooth corners, if any. I have used this road a thousand times. Okay realistically speaking maybe around 50 times, but up until yesterday I had not noticed the small yet big IDP camp by the roadside of a small town along the road. I passed there at around 2pm; there was little life around the camp. At first I did not want to believe that people actually live there. Well, the heart
rarely gets what it wants. I was shaken, hoping that when coming back to Nakuru in the evening I would see no sign of life in these circular ‘hema’ homes; let them be dark ruins of the past. Unfortunately the lanterns were on, a sight that shook my heart.
I’ve always heard stories of still existing IDP camps but never seen one. It took me a moment to take it all in. It’s been over 11 years since the post-election violence, how and why does an IDP camp still exist? Is it that toxic poor financial management by the ‘tenants’ of this IDP camp: irresponsible head of families who cannot sustain themselves? Is it due to toxic leadership: leaders who are driven by greed inhumanely denying this people of their reparation? Is it the toxic greed that Kenyans have: that they decided to take reparations that are rightfully not theirs?
What is it? Why are people still living like refugees in their own country?
Before I begin goggling and looking for answers behind this IDP camp, I hope that poor financial management is the reason behind this still existing place or better yet the greed of Kenyans. The thought of having leaders who are toxic, leaders who are driven by greed, leaders who care more for their pockets than the livelihood of those under them is painful. Yet I am almost certain it is the reason .
This is death. How can a fellow human being live in a circular canvas home while you have houses in three counties each having over 10 rooms with a perfectly green garden that is watered every day and mowed twice a week? The amount of water you use to water your lawn can sustain the IDP camp for two weeks. Worst of all, you built these houses using their (fellow human beings) money. Money that could have put a decent roof over someone’s head. Money that could have sent someone to school. Money that could have put a smile on someone’s face. Money that is NOT YOURS. The anger I am filled with right now, God only knows.
But as I sit here typing off my anger to an audience I have never met, the one thing I know is that my anger can either turn to action or can slip off my fingers and show up the next time I see the IDP camp on my way to shags. I am sure I am not the only one who sympathizes with
them, but after you feel bad, what next? Or these feelings are just emotional swings that come and go. What’s the need of such emotional swings when they don’t make anything better?
My anger will not be in vain. The action I take is to speak justice and show kindness. To live humbly. My action is to support any group that fight for a good course. My action is to be a role model to whoever it may be out there. My action is to care for my neighbors. My action is to teach my children to do all this. I choose to put a smile on someone’s face when I can. I am the change. The simple things always count. My anger can be a waste of time and energy, but I choose to turn it into a productive course. What do you choose to do with your anger?
By Dawn Chemoiwa Chepkoech.