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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2008, 14:05 GMT
'We only have fish and mangoes'

British environmental lawyer Dr Rosalind Reeve lives in Nairobi with her husband, twin sons aged 13, 16-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter.

The family have abandoned their home in Nairobi and are now staying in a village on the southern coast of the country, where food supplies are scarce.

Widespread violence and looting erupted after the disputed elections

We were on holiday in the bush in Kibwezi for four days and we had to leave yesterday.

We had a choice of going back to our homes in Nairobi or coming down to the coast through Mombasa.

My husband works for the UN and the advice we were given is that if you are out of Nairobi, stay out.

Mombasa was pretty quiet yesterday but you could see the tail end of all the rioting in Likoni, which connects Mombassa with the coast.

You could see burning tyres on the roads and upturned burnt-out cars. Apart from a few public mini buses and a couple of tourist buses, our two vehicles were the only ones going south.

Everyone thought we were mad to go back but we had no choice because the holiday camp we were staying in was expecting visitors.

I was very nervous driving through Likoni but it was either go back to Nairobi or head for the coast where we knew it was quiet.

We followed a pick-up truck through Likoni, which was full of the maize meal, Ugali. Two men were on top, one had a machete and another had a bow and arrow.

It looked like they were protecting the food and they were shouting and waving their weapons at passers-by.

My son, who is 13, was very frightened, but he seems better now. His twin, who is blind and has cerebral palsy doesn't really know what's going on and it's hard to explain to him.

There were two men in the truck, one had a machete and another had a bow and arrow.

My older children are due to fly in from Germany on Saturday but we may have to wait until things have quietened down a bit.

Today, no shops have opened in Ukunda, our nearest small town. Ugali is being sold from the police station for protection. There are hour-long queues.

We have got some fish and mangoes but we hope the situation gets better soon.

My parents, who live in Hertfordshire, come to visit us every year but have had to cancel their trip.

We are just lying low and trying to do the best we can as we don't know what's going to happen next.

Friends of ours are stuck in Nairobi but they are OK and so far, we've been told our home is OK.

The violence seems to be targeted towards people from the Kikuyu tribe and it is contained in the slums.

Three of our staff are stranded in Western Province, scene of some of the worst violence.

Map of Kenya
Kenya's political leaders have been urged to compromise

They say that numbers killed are high, we were talking to someone in one of the Nairobi slums on Monday, who counted five bodies on his short walk to and from the food kiosk.

Shops owned by Kikuyus and Asians have been looted and credit for mobile phones is scarce.

We were hoping that the situation would calm down but with things descending into ethnic violence, it might get a lot worse.

The leaders have to get together and stop the ethnic violence. They need to put aside their differences about the election and stop this division immediately.

I have lived in Kenya for 14 years and everyone knows about the ethnic divisions.

It is Kenya's Achilles heel.

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