The following report from Russell Gale, who works for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Tanzania, describes not only some of the hardship in Kenya but also the knock-on effect the crisis is having in other east African countries. MAF is a Christian charity whose mission is to fly in developing countries, helping people in need.
We have had a busy week, in that we did several medevacs and many trips to the west of Kenya (Eldoret, Kisumu, Kitale, Homa Bay) to evacuate both Kenyans who were threatened and missionaries and other ex-pats who were no longer safe in their homes.
The stories we heard were very, very sad. The media blackout keeps many of us guessing, but if we extrapolate the information that we have collected from our small circle we cannot comprehend the tragedy that Kenya is facing.
We have been receiving non-stop calls for flights and are working with AIM AIR [a Christian missionary aviation organization, part of the larger ministry of Africa Inland Mission, ed.] to respond as quickly as possible as fuel supplies are limited. Our team in Nairobi has been on standby and we have evacuated some of our team to Tanzania but as of 8 January we are no longer on high alert.
Tanzania has been affected already. We have seen overnight shipping moved to Dar es Salaam from Mombasa and this will affect those in Uganda and other land-locked countries in the region that need food and fuel supplies. Arusha has seen a steady influx of Kenyans and Indians fleeing into Tanzania.