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Tuesday, October 27, 1998 Published at 14:52 GMT


World: Africa

Kenyan bomb compensation payments

Many families were left without a bread-winner

By East Africa Correspondent Cathy Jenkins

A national disaster fund set up in Kenya following the August bomb attack on the US Embassy has paid out a further $150,000 to relatives of the victims.

The Kenyan authorities say 230 people died in the bomb attack of which 218 were Kenyan.

Many families were left without a bread-winner.

The survivors

When Josef Kamau an employee at the US Embassy died in the Nairobi bomb blast, he left behind three widows.


BBC's Kathy Jenkins:"Lucy... said the money was not really enough - but the widows had no choice but to accept"
Lucy, Alice and Jane Kamau have been given a cheque equivalent to $1,700 for the loss of their husband.

The three widows have agreed that the money shall be split evenly between them.

Lucy, who was Josef's senior wife, said the money was not really enough - but the widows had no choice but to accept.

All three women are housewives. Josef was the breadwinner for all of them.

Now the three have to rebuild their futures and find other sources of income for themselves and their children.


[ image: Remembering the dead: Facing the future]
Remembering the dead: Facing the future
Alice Kamau's four children are aged between 17 and nine.

For her, school fees are a major financial burden. The National Disaster Fund has given out humanitarian payments to relatives of more than 200 victims.

There remain a handful of cases where the cheques have not been issued because of disputes within a family as to who should get the money.

As well as the one-off humanitarian payment, the relatives of the victims will have initially received money to help with burials.

The Kenya Red Cross wants to keep track of the bereaved, because of the many difficulties they still have to face.

But Lucy, Alice and Jane Kamau are preparing to cope on their own.

All three said they were trying to find jobs.



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