As the explosive violence following Kenya's disputed elections appears to be cooling, a humanitarian crisis is left in its wake. About 250,000 Kenyans have fled their homes to escape violence. In the country's western Rift Valley region alone, the scene of some of the country's most horrific bloodshed, about 100,000 people need immediate assistance, including food and clean water.
"People are being forced to drink unsafe water, risking diarrhoeal diseases, infection and severe dehydration," said Wubeshet Woldermariam, country director for the U.K.-based aid organization Merlin. "The longer the crisis continues, the greater the risk to people's health. If peace isn't restored within the next few days, disease and severe dehydration are very real threats."
Woldermariam's warning comes amid today's hopeful news that there will be negotiation talks this Friday between Kenya's incumbent president, Mwai Kibaki, and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who claims the Dec. 27 election was rigged.