An NGO vehicle knocked down a refugee child
A refugee child died in an aggressive road accident in Kakuma
By Okita Omina
An NGO vehicle owned by Film Aid International killed a refugee girl in an accident in the camp settlement vicinity.
The incident happened on the 7th October, 2016 at around 11:30 hours in Kakuma one zone one block four on the main corridor that passes through the settlement connecting major sections of the camps. The victim was Beatrice Adaha, a daughter of Emmanuel Adaha from the South Sudanese community in Kakuma, who died instantly at the scene.
Beatrice was crossing the road when she was suddenly knocked down by a speeding vehicle at the edge of the road. Moments before the accident, Beatrice was returning for a lunch break from her school, where she was in class one at Mogadishu primary school in the camp.
Dola, Beatrice’s mother, said she heard a loud scream and a crowd shouting but she learnt about her daughter’s death in a blink. “I heard some commotion, I ran out of my house only to find my daughter lying by the road side with blood oozing from her head.” Dola told KANERE in an interview.
“My daughter’s body was in the dust and wet with blood” Dola told KANERE in disbelief. The family mourned the death of their child after a burial in the camp graveyard.
A passer-by described the accident as horrible. “I saw the child’s head crushed, I felt cold and couldn’t help,” said Santino a Sudanese refugee.
At the scene of the accident some witnesses described the driver of the vehicle as a drunkard. “The driver of the vehicle was reckless and drunk.” Ahmed said.
The body was collected by traffic police officers who assessed the situation.
The dwelling areas within the camp are designed on a linear layout where buildings are facing the road on either side. The road is often busy with school children and general public using the road to access the large market center in the camp.
The family of the deceased recorded a statement with the police to seek justice in the case. The case number 30/07/10/2016 recorded with Kakuma police did not reached court until the month of December, which is a breach of the law in a case that involved refugees versus a humanitarian organization.
According to the family members interviewed by KANERE, justice was not done in the case and they lack legal protection as the case was taken to the court in a diluted condition.
Emmanuel Adah, Beatrice’s father, said he had been intimidated by the Film Aid official while he was following legal assistance through their office. “She told me that I don’t have any legal right to discuss this case of the accident with their office, that as a South Sudanese, I don’t have any right.”
“I felt disgusted and intimidated by this officer at the Film Aid Office in Kakuma.” Emmanuel told his ordeal to KANERE in an interview.
Two months down the line, the case reached Kakuma’s district magistrate court on the 8th December for the first instance hearing. The case will be heard again on the 17th February, 2017.
The Film Aid Office in Kakuma declined to provide any comments when contacted by KANERE.
The deceased’s family are still waiting for justice and compensation from the organization.