Sobering Journey to Western Kenya

By Claire Hollis

Despite having visited Kimilili many times before, it was my first time driving in that direction since returning to Kenya at the end of January, and therefore the first time since the violence at the beginning of the year. To get to Kimilili, I pass through Nakuru and Eldoret, both names that appeared in the news all too often at that time.

Destroyed buildings on the highway between Eldoret and Nakuru.

About half an hour from Nakuru, we began to pass destroyed buildings, generally missing at least the roof. In the case of mud houses, all that remained was the floor. What was particularly surreal was that it wasn’t every building. There were those that remained intact presumably belonging to Kalenjin, the destroyed ones having been occupied by Kikuyu. I wondered how many of the people who were around at the side of the road had themselves been involved in the violence, either as perpetrators or as victims.

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