The August 8th presidential elections turned out to be a fierce dynastic contest pitting the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta against his rival, formidable opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The outcome, where the electoral commission declared Uhuru Kenyatta winner, led to pockets of protests across the opposition leader’s strongholds.
Police responded to the protests with deadly force, leading to an unknown number of deaths. Human rights groups put the number of deaths at twenty four while opposition leaders put the figure at over a hundred.
In the wake of this brutality, some families were forced to run away from their homes, citing cases where police broke into people’s houses to brutalize them. Those who ran from their dwellings were essentially stranded given that most did not have secondary residences.
While some chose to sit back and blame the victims for being ‘violent protesters,’ Kenyan developer Tevin Otieno and colleague Miss Nyawira came with ResqueBnB, a collaborative endeavor between social media users and humanitarian volunteers to connect stranded victims with willing hosts who can accommodate them for an unspecified period. The initiative has also overseen collection of cash and food donations. The groups activities are also coordinated via their Twitter handle @ResqueBnB. A more detailed description of the initiative can be found here.
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