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Village in a Box is Shelter, Water, Sanitation and Power for 250 People

HabiHut along with visionary Kenyan-Architect Ronald Omyonga and Impact Lives are trying to help IDP's (Internally Displaced People) in the Vumilia Camp in Gilgil, Kenya. Below are the stories of three families that are in desperate need of help after the violence that insued in the 2007 election. With your help, we can bring shelter to these families by donating the first Village in a Box.

  • Esther Wangu - 40 Years Old Head of Family
  • Jane Wanjiru - 20 Years Old
  • Milka Wangui - 18 Years Old
  • David Mangai - 14 Years Old
  • Simon Warmwai- 7 Years Old
  • Kelvin Mwangi - 5 Years Old
  • Serah Wambui - 3 Months Old

Esther Wangu who is the Chairperson of the Vumilia Camp of more than 298 Households, not only shoulders the responsibility of the whole camp, but also the hopes of her home and family of 6 children. She came from the same IDP camp in Naivasha where she had been in provision of all the basics as per the universal sphere standards. All that was taken away during the Operation Rudi Nyumbani by the government.

Before the 2007 post election violence, she lived in Narok Town, where she had a kiosk in the town's market. The violence was forthcoming as the area M.P. had earlier declared that they would repatriate all the "MADOADOA" DOTS (in English) from his District. She was weary of what would transpire but could not imagine the scale of the reality.

The kikuyu in that region were forewarned by a certain tribe which had in turn, told them to vacate the land. Esther was married and her husband had joined the other men by preparing for attacks and arming themselves with pangas and knives, ready to fight. On the morning of 2nd January the situation became so tensed that they had no other alternative than to vacate the town.




They were ambushed and then later, in the fracas, her 9 year old daughter was killed. She was injured and in turn could not survive the dire injuries that she had sustained and ended up dying in the arms of her mother. The mother could not burry her in time and they left her in the morgue to be buried later.

Just like many others who had been displaced from their homes, they were forced to hike for lifts which, later brought them to Naivasha at the Kanu Grounds, where all the other IDPs had camped for asylum. The local community had in turn mobilized food and non-food items and even though there was not enough they could be the only line that they had between them and survival.

She would later go to the camp formed by Kenya Red Cross Society and be the safe haven for all the displaced people. During her stay in the camp, her husband would later leave her after the condition in the camp got too difficult for them. After the Rudi Nyumbani operation she would go to kikopey where they would in turn form a group so as to get help from well wishers.

Her main challenges has been food and day in day out, she has even resulted to selling her body for cash just to put a meal on the table for her children .she can get Kshs. 50 per night which is less than a Dollar for her children. Other issues have been lack of Rations for the camp members and when they come all of the families regardless of the size get the same ration. Sanitary pads have also not been in good supplies and her tent as seen in the photos has been destroyed by the harsh weather and leaks of cold and during heavy downpours of water inside. Vector supplies have never been done in the camp and she hopes to have continued staying in the Red Cross tents than where they are now.

  • Wilson Mburu - 42 Years Old Head of Family
  • Kezia Wangari - 30 Years Old Wife
  • Peter Karanja - 2 Years Old
  • James Wainaina - 1 Year Old

Wilson Mburu was living in Molo District at a place called Mau way before the 2007 post election violence erupted. He had grown weary of what war could do to a people who apart from being citizens of a nation that had 45 tribes had been so close to the blink due to conflicts of land and other resources in many other national polls outcome, little did he know that this would be not like just ay other contested election…

He recalls how that day transpired from just being another usual political affiliation customery chant to the now known ceremonial chants of war and hatred. He had made his life here since he could remember and he never even once imagined that he could be parted from a region that he called home.

He had stayed at home during that fateful day, when all over sudden the attacks got closer and got aggressive day by day, he ran to the nearest police station. Before he knew it reports of his farm, which had maize and beans (one acre) ready to harvest had been torched reached him and his house and all that was in it burnt to the ground.

His first priority was to get as far away from that place as he could, he was amongst the few that would make it out of the police station and live o tell it. Cars were hired to transport them to Nakuru and in turn to Naivasha. When he got to Naivasha he got to at a Kanu Ground party office where he camped together with many others who had departed from the war torn Districts. After weeks of getting food and clothing from well wishers, the Kenya Red Cross Naivasha Branch, formed a camp at stadium which the intake were from the people of a certain tribe, later he would stay there for six months with provision of tents and food and non food items. After a while the government took over with the operation 'rudi nyumbani' campaign and he was paid an amount of Kshs. 10,000. Then late Kshs 25,000 making it a total of Kshs. 35,000 around US Dollar 437.50.

After that they formed a group, called Vumilia meaning PERSERVERANCE in English and bought a piece of land at Kikopey a few meters from Gilgil. That's where he now lives with his family. Challenges and short comings have been a regular ting at the camp and major ones have been the provision of services as per sphere standards.

Lack of water and little or no food ration is his number one problem as he struggles to feed a family of three, he has another hosted family in his tent. The tents were the ones they were given in the camps which was in the month of January 2008. The leaking tents got torn off and he has been inclined to living in a tent with no warm floor just cold earth and which cold penetrates quite easily. Shelter is his first cry as I interviewed him. Also lack of income, no medical care and the ever dying hope of being relocated to his home for construction since he feels like no one cares anymore.

  • Joseph Cogoco - 48 Years Old Head of Family
  • Mary Maruga - 30 Years Old Wife
  • Francis Thendeu - 15 Years Old
  • Nahashon Mburu - 13 Years Old
  • Patrick Kariuki - 10 Years Old
  • John Nderitu - 9 Years Old
  • David Muiruri - 5 Years Old
  • Esther Wanja - 3 Years Old
  • Jane Wangari - 3 Years Old
  • Peter Njuguna - 1 Year Old

Mary Waruga sits outside her tent holding her children as she tries to recollect on what she says is perhaps the saddest days of her life. She was living in Uasingishu at Taraiya when the country was literally on fire. She was a small scale farmer involved in hearding cattles and a small farm where she and her family were indulging themselves in day to day activities.

When the eruption occurred she was in her farm, not to mean that she was not aware of what was happening but to incline that she was sure that it would all subsidise for this occurrence had been the nom after every general election. She heard screams while she was attending to her farm, 3 meters down the yard from hers she saw smoke and she knew something was not right for the incident had been too close to her home.

She gave it a quick sneak and she realized that the attackers had now been aiming at her property. Her three children had been playing outside her farm and before she could get to them they were hacked and killed. She posses as she tries to calm her emotions for the event left a big scar into her heart. She snuck into the farm and hid amongst the maize in her farm. Her 4 cows, 6 goats and now three children had perished in a matter of seconds. She had managed to sneak with her to children and the others instinctively followed her to her heels all the way to the farm.

When the dust had settled, she moved back to the house which now was in flames and she could not salvage anything. Her husband by then had returned and she knew the only thing that as left to do was to flee, her husband asked her to leave the killed children behind as they tried to jump into the next car and try and go to the police station. They got there just in time and after the assailant threatened to kill them the area OCPD decided to have them ferried to Nakuru en route to Naivasha since the number of idps in Nakuru were soaring beyond capacity.

They managed to get to the car and they reached Naivasha at night of the 3RD Jan, 2008. They slept out in the cold without even a pinch of food in their stomachs. The next day Kenya Red Cross Naivasha Branch brought them some blankets and some food for their stomachs.

They later went to the camp, Stadium Camp, and later to where she is now at Vumilia in Kikopey. The problems have been any majorly food as highlighted in the other stories, sanitary towels, medicine, water which they pay for, school fees and school uniforms for her children, security.



Want to Help?

Help the families in Kenya now by making a donation through Impact Lives. Your contribution will help HabiHut along with Infinia launch the first ever Village in a Box - providing the families a future filled with hope.

Village in a Box with Infinia PowerDish

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