Saturday, January 05, 2008

Election, Evacuation

The last two weeks have been tense in Kenya. Presidential elections were held on December 27th. Our wise MSF boss anticipated the peri-election violence. She arranged for us to cross over to Uganda on December 26th.

As votes were counted in Kenya on December 27th and December 28th, doubts were raised about the voting process and the validity of the results. All hell broke loose on December 29th. When the disputed election results were formally announced, shots were fired and houses were burned. At least seven people were killed in Busia town. For more background on the election, post-election violence, and the deterioration into chaos, see today's NYT story or the BBC coverage.

After the violence erupted on December 29th, our team set up a base in Busia Uganda. We are holed up in a hotel that is just about 4km from our home, just over the border. Of course we are happy to be safe, but I want to go back to Kenya soon. Groups of displaced Kikuyus are congregated in schools at police stations on both sides of the border. MSF can help set up clean water points and latrines. Malaria and diarrheal diseases will likely become a concern. I also want to reopen our clinic. Our patients need antiretrovirals and medical attention.

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