Tana Delta Renewed Clashes: Inter Agency Kenya Initial Rapid Assessment (KIRA) Preliminary Findings

January 4, 2013

Period 01 January to 04 January, 2012

Mission Participants: Kenya Red Cross Society, NDMA, MSF, UNOCHA, UNICEF, WFP and CRS during report consolidation

Mission Objective

To undertake an multi-sector rapid assessment in line with the Kenya Initial Rapid Assessment (KIRA) process in order to:

  1. Get clear understanding on the situation and humanitarian impact following renewed inter-communal conflict in Tana Delta.
  2. Verify information received to date and gather information on humanitarian response to date and gaps
  3. Understand how different groups are affected and establish their priority needs
  4. Understand the priorities for the purposes of resource mobilization and advocacy

This report summarizes preliminary findings from the 4 days KIRA Assessment in Tana Delta from 01 – 04 January 2013.


  1. Secondary Data Analysis with information received from various sources, briefings from Government authorities and partners on the ground (red cross, WFP, MSF);
  2. Field Visits, community and key informant interviews, direct observation in 1)2 Old Sites where possibly new affected HH might have arrived due to renewed clashes, 2) 2 new sites where affected HH have been integrated with local communities, 3) Communities hosting affected HH and 4) displacement in Urban settings in Mararani in Malindi district.
  3. KIRA assessment mission conducted a purposive sample on five sites with the following statistics on displaced population; Dide Waride consisting of 178 households, 725 people, Bulanazi 34 households, 170 people, Marereni 257 households, 1409 people, Tarasaa 352 households, 1856 people.
  4. Multi-agency, multi sectoral joint consolidation, analysis and verification of primary data conducted during the KIRA mission. Debrief of the mission findings with the KRCS in Garsen and Malindi as well as mission finding shared with District Commissioner and Drought Management Officer in the region.


Tana Delta district is one of the 3 districts in Tana River County. It has a population of 105,363[1] people predominantly from the Pokomo, Orma and Wardei communities. Much of the district is dry and prone to drought. Floods are also a common occurrence whenever it rains heavily upstream. It has historically experienced conflicts between settled farmers (Pokomo) and pastoral communities (Orma) mainly over grazing/farming land and access to water. These conflict situations are particularly common during the dry season when water and pasture is scarce. Large-scale commercial farming that has been introduced in the area in recent years has also created greater pressure on the remaining land, further reducing access to water and grazing areas.

Beside the resource utilization trigger factor, pre-election violence has exacerbated the on-going cycle of violence. The devolution under the current constitution leading to border demarcations and political ‘capitals’ could have contributed to increased tensions on the ground. An increase in illegal arms in the area is also believed to have significantly fuelled the conflict.

Scope and Scale

Initial outbreak of hostilities occurred in August[2] 2012, this triggered a cycle of further attacks and counter attacks between the warring communities until 10th September and no clashes were reported for a period of four months[3]. Renewed clashes between Pokomo and Orma communities in Tana Delta were reported on 21st December 2012. Unknown number of Pokomo men attacked Kipao village which is predominantly inhabited by Orma community. 49[4] people including 30 men 6 women and 13 children[5] were killed from the latest attacks. A total of 41[6] people were critically injured out of which 35 were airlifted by Kenya Red Cross chopper due to inaccessible terrain. A total of 829[7] houses have been burned since September.

The number of displaced from the August/September attacks was 33,167 people out of out of which 10,533 went to camps while 22,634 were integrated in various villages and towns within Tana County and the neighbouring Kilifi and Lamu counties[8]. After the 21st December, there has been additional displacement 250 HH (aprox. 1250 from various villages to Bulanazi, Nduru Orma, Tarassa). As of now, it is not clear whether these newly displace population will remain integrated with the host communities or end up in spontaneous camp settings.

The Government has beefed up security in addition to the General Service Unit (GSU) police deployed in the area. Curfew that had been imposed is still in force.

Humanitarian Response/Capacity on the Ground

  • Immediate lifesaving humanitarian needs have been responded to mainly by the Kenya Red Cross Society, the Government of Kenya and local responders. KRCS was on the ground and provided health services, evacuation of casualties, psychosocial support and distribution of foods, NFIs, Tarpaulins, Water. WFP/GoK provided Food. UNICEF provided 350 Family kits to the KRCS.
  • Available Resources on the Ground: KRCS - food stock of 4.4Mts of Unimix and 1.16MT of cooking oil. A consignment of 69MT of assorted food (cereals, pulses and oil); IMC - local UNICEF partner currently in discussion with KRCS in linking the supplementary feeding processes in addition to the support provided by WFP; MSF on the ground. American Jewish Services provided additional resources to KRCS Malindi to provide education support to the people displaced in and around Malindi.
  • Before 21 December 2012: The humanitarian agencies have been supporting the people displaced due to the ethnic conflict in Tana Delta since August/September 2012. Before 21st December, the following agencies provided necessary support on the ground either directly or through partners in the region. The agencies are namely: Government of Kenya, KRCS, Rotary Club, Serving in Missions, Action Aid, American Jewish Services, Karibuni Onlus, DUMA, MSF, WVI, IMC, Nairobi Women Hospital, African leadership and reconciliation ministries (ALAM), WFP, UNFPA, UNICEF, among others.

Immediate Needs/ Emerging Needs

In support of the local response efforts, the additional assistance would be required for sectors like protection, Food and NFI, livelihood, Health and WASH mainly for children under five, elderly, lactating mother and pregnant women, women with children, women and men in general.

Locations / Needs for Women / Needs for Youth / Needs for Men
In old camps/sites that existed before 21st Decemer renewed clashes / In the order of priority: Food, Livelihood, and Security/Protection.
The most affected groups: children under 5, elderly, pregnant and lactating mothers and mothers with children. / In the order of priority: Security/Protection, Food and shelter.
According to youth most affected groups were children under 5 and mothers / In the order of priority: Protection, Food, Livelihood.
The most affected groups: children under elderly and disabled
In new sites where displaced have been integrated with communities / In the order of priority: Food, WASH/Health, livelihood and shelter.
The most affected groups: children under 5, pregnant and lactating mothers, women with children. / In the order of priority: Security/Protection, Food, health and shelter.
According to youth most affected groups were children, pregnant and lactating mothers and people with special needs / In the order of priority:
Security/Protection, Food, Shelter.
The most affected groups: children under 5, elderly
Displacement in urban settings eg. Malindi / In the order of priority: WASH, Food and Livelihood.
The most affected groups: children under 5, pregnant and lactating mothers and children in general / -NA- / In the order of priority:
Protection, Food and Livelihood.
The most affected groups: Elderly, disabled and children in general

Geographic locations in need of immediate support summarized below:

Locations / Sectoral Needs/Most affected groups
Tarassa / Communities in this camp were mainly farmers who were displaced and hosted by other community mainly relatives of priority: Food, Livelihood, Shelter/NFI and Protection. Women particularly indicated the need for WASH support. Opportunity to plant crops was missed as the clashes occurred during the planting season. Vulnerable groups among this community are < 5 children, pregnant and lactating mothers and elderly
Bulla Nazi / Communities in this location hosted a number of displaced persons and they are agro pastoralist. Food, protection and livelihood are the sectors prioritized by the community. The targeted group in this community is < 5 children, elderly and lactating mothers.
Witu / Protection, food and livelihood were identified as the main priority sectors. Livelihoods came strongly among this group as adverse coping mechanisms such as prostitution and early child marriages were documented from the female community group interviews. The most affected populations are children, elderly men and women.
Didawaride / Priority areas were mentioned as protection, shelter, food and health respectively. The people that needs targeting are <5 children, elderly and lactating mothers.

Possible Return: Irrespective of increased GoK security forces deployed on the ground, the displaced people are not ready to return anytime soon. In all the visited communities when asked about possibility of return, the reaction was almost the same. Before the 21st December, steady returns of the displaced were reported. Many did return voluntarily and some with support of Red Cross and local authorities. However due to the renewed clashes, it might be very difficult to anticipate any return before the elections in March 2013.

Gaps in General

  • Impact of conflict to non Pokomo and Orma Communities: Even though the main parties of the conflicts are Pokomo and Orma communities, the repeated cyclic violence is also affecting other ethnic tribes in the region like the Giriama (spread out in Chara and Kipini), Luo (from Katsakairo, Nairobi area, Onido), Luhya (from spread out across Tana and mostly concentrated in Kipini), Goshi (mostly from Kipini), Watta (from Chara/Boko). No concrete information was available on the impact of recent on these communities.
  • Improved coordination: In order to avoid duplication of humanitarian work and to make sure that the needs of the affected population are met with the limited available resources, better coordination is required in Tana Delta.
  • Security: Youth in particular, are concerned as some have to travel over 5 kilometers to reach school passing through various hostile ethnic communities on the way.
  • Health services: Though medical outreaches are carried out by agencies, there is a gap in provision of medical supplies and coverage of all the affected locations.
  • Shelter: Most of the affected populations are hosted by other communities leading to congestion and lack of privacy.
  • Economic evaluation of loss of assets: There are no records of the value of assets lost.
  • Data: Lack of demographic data on vulnerable population/groups.


  • Provision of food to displaced persons in both camps and HH integrated with local communities
  • Strengthen inter-agency coordination mechanisms at local level through DSG Steering committee. To encourage responding partners on the ground to liaise with the KRCS and DC to take informed decisions after reviewing “who (agency) is doing what activities (sectors) where (location) and when”.
  • Humanitarian communities with the KRCS and GoK to come up with long term early recovery plans on a phased basis i.e. phase 1 before elections and phase 2 - after elections.
  • Support local capacities of KRCS, GoK and local partners to respond
  • Urgent need to revise the conflict resolution/peace building initiatives currently in place to mitigate the cycle of violence witnessed in the Tana Delta.
  • Even though education partners have been addressing various needs in Tana Delta, the sector should liaise with DEOs and local partners to address the overcrowding issues in the schools and the additional need for education support in the region.
  • Strengthen supplementary feeding programme in facilities near camps to ensure malnourished <5yr children and pregnant and lactating mother get SFP food rations
  • Agriculture sector to conduct detailed sectoral needs assessment for livestock restocking.
  • Enhance security in all the affected areas/Villages

Proposed Final Report: Final KIRA Mission report to be shared by 9th January 2013

Annex 1: Thematic Map of Multi Agency KIRA Assessment Team Visited Sites in Tana Delta


[1] Source: KNBS 2009

[2] Source: KRCS Garasen 2012

[3] Source: KRCS Tana River Operations 2012

[4] Source: KRCS, District commissioner Tana Delta

[5] Source: KRCS, District commissioner Tana Delta

[6] Source: District Commissioner Tana Delta

[7] Source: KRCS Garasen, 784 Houses burnt from early clashes and 45 houses burnt in December 21st incident

[8] Source: KRCS operations update Dec 2012