, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 21 – The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) says Sh40 million of the money donated to support those affected after the Westgate terrorist attack has not been used.
The money is part of the Sh142 million which was donated by the public in a 10-day funds drive conducted via mobile money transfer services, led by Safaricom’s MPESA.
Kenya Red Cross Director of External Relations and Resource mobilisation Wariko Waita said the Sh40 million will be used to pay any pending bills incurred by those affected while seeking treatment and psychological help.
“The total amount of money that we received from the Safaricom drive was Sh102, 331,346. From other donors, we got Sh39, 806,216.4. The total of this comes to Sh142, 137,560.64. The remaining amount was Sh40, 599,113.80,” she stated.
She told Capital FM News that the Society has also embarked on Phase of II of the psychosocial support for survivors with a target to reach about 10,000 people.
She stated that this will include survivors, their families, responders, Kenya Defense Force soldiers, Police, journalists, organisations, schools and institutions.
She explained that the rationale behind this is that people are traumatised and must share their experiences so as not to contract larger mental health problems.
“Sharing experiences and unburdening emotions will bring relief from distress. It is also based on the fact 8-10 percent of survivors directly exposed to the Westgate attack may go on develop symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) usually several months after the event. PTSD has the capacity to open the survivor to other disabling mental health conditions, for example, depression,” she said.
She indicated that If not properly managed, traumatic stress can significantly increase an individual’s use and dependency on medical and behavioral healthcare services, or lead to lapse into self-medication through substance use or abuse.
She said that others who do not heal could result to anger and vengeance.
“Hurt people and unhealed pain can find pathways into violence and vengeful crime, so destroying the peace fabric in the nation. The PSS will contribute towards the healing of the nation and thus re-install harmony. Kenyans need reassurance that the nation is still one and hope must be restored through psychological healing and not through activism or instigation of any kind. People need confidence and hope as part of the fabric of our society,” she stated.
She outlined that the project will seek every opportunity to encourage every individual to create positive connections for the healing of survivors and to unite as one in building a safe nation of peace and security.