As insecurity and other forms of unrest continues in various parts of the country leaving many stranded, ODM Deputy Party Leader and Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho will tomorrow launch Orange Relief, a social and community service focused wing of the party to mobilise material help and relief for communities in distress.
The initiative will be a collaboration between the political class and a prayer group within ODM known as the Peace and Reconciliation Movement.
The launch of the relief service follows a visit to Baringo County by Party Leader Raila Odinga during which affected communities in the region appealed for various kinds of help. During the visit to Baringo, the ODM team came face to face with teachers in the few working schools who have been forced to also host displaced children in their own homes.
The team also discovered that the few operational schools have also become homes to the displaced communities and their few livestock, making learning and living extremely difficult. Communities in Baringo said many residents are sick as a result of eating poisoned seeds. They complained that instead of being supplied with food, the government distributed treated maize and beans seeds to them.
Many abandoned homes in Baringo have been vandalized and many families will have to start from scratch even when peace returns to the region. Many families have lost all their livestock, which is a critical source of livelihood with residents complaining that they have watched helplessly as their cattle are transported in CDF lorries to the slaughter house in Nairobi.
Governor Joho explained that while the Orange Relief initiative is meant to respond to some of the requests the residents made to Mr Odinga during the visit, it aims to be a standing long term program to respond to similar needs in other parts of the country.
He appealed to political leaders and well-wishers to show up in Orange House tomorrow to donate.Joho said it is the partyâ€™s way of showing gratitude to Kenyans for continued support and a kind of corporate social responsibility by the largest party in the country.
â€œWe do not command the kind of resources at the disposal of the government. So nobody should expect us to compete with or do what the government should and can do to avert disaster. But we will be seeking to respond within our means to distress wherever it occurs and whenever we can through this initiative,â€ Joho said.
The event will take place tomorrow, Thursday, May 21 2015 at 3 PM at Orange House, the partyâ€™s headquarters.