“The Government image continues to suffer greatly as long as these people are living here as internally displaced persons,” the Bishop warns.
About 5,000 people from over 800 families from the villages of Muthithu, Ndunguni, Twanyonyi, Kituneni, Mwanyani and Nunga around St. Paul’s Makima Catholic Parish of the Diocese of Embu were left homeless on April 24, after being forcibly evicted by police officers from a 66,000-acre land to pave way for the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (Tarda).
Reports indicate that more than 500 households have registered at a nearby IDP camp while others are camping at Mwanyani primary, Mwanyani secondary, Muthithu primary and Mbondoni market and in other areas around the Catholic Parish.
Agenzia Fides has reported the frustrations of learners who found their classes occupied by homeless families when schools re-opened on May 5.
In the report, Bishop Njiru points out that the pupils in the school are also psychologically disturbed because they are not studying in a good, silent and conducive environment like learners in other schools.
The Kenyan Bishop further expresses concern that the homeless people are at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their congestion in the classrooms.
“These families face the risk of COVID- 19 pandemic because they are congested in classes without masks. They don’t keep a safe distance and have no soap and water for washing. If one person is infected, others will be in danger too,” the Bishop says, and adds that the people also face the risk of contracting other communicable diseases like cholera and typhoid.
Bishop Njiru was speaking on May 14 when he visited the evicted families at Ndunguni primary school and distributed foodstuffs, cloths and blankets and other essentials that were donated by the Catholic Diocese of Embu through Caritas Embu.
Agenzia Fides reports that the school management allocated three classes for the homeless families while the pupils occupy three other classes.
“One class accommodates nine families, another six and the other 37 men. The pupils use three classes during the day while their parents use them at night,” Agenzia Fides reports.