The following is an interview with an aid worker who has direct access and experience working in a series of small villages in northeast Kenya.  His group operates a number of small clinics and centers that provide education, healthcare, and basic living improvements to approximately ten villages. 

Through personal connections and networking, SOFREP is able to tap into the wealth of knowledge from his firsthand experience and use it to provide atmospherics regarding the local security situation that often spills over from one of Africa’s most troubled regions: the Horn of Africa.

While you have to read between the lines, his responses are very telling and indicative of the security situation in northeast Kenya, which has severely declined in the past several years.  Al-Shabaab’s Westgate Mall attack in Kenya in September 2013 demonstrates this regional decline all too well.

Because his work is ongoing, his title and name have been changed to protect his identity.  Additionally, English is not his first language.  SOFREP has altered the syntax of his response for the readers.  My comments are included in italics.  –14C

Food shortages and Refugee Camps, courtesy of OCHA

SOFREP: What is the largest concern for people in [the region]? i.e. security, health, education, etc.

MK: The largest concern for the locals are for education and health, mainly issues like purification of water, basic healthcare needs, shelter, and things like that.  The education and health situations are not okay.   There aren’t enough facilities for either one around the mission, and no one is willing to commit any resources to improving the community.  If someone does something, it is only for their own tribe or interest.

Comments: Oftentimes, basic health and sanitation needs supersede any security concerns in this region.  Because of the constant threat of violence and influx of foreigners to the area, people become accustomed to the dynamic security situation and instead look to basic education and healthcare to fix their long-term problems.

SOFREP: Were there any groups or individuals that openly threatened the mission or village?