CJTF-HOA Provides Assistance to Faza Village
A team from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa deployed to Faza Village, Pate Island, Kenya, September 13, 2009 to assess options in assisting the village after a fire on September 5 that consumed 350 houses and displaced more than 2,100 people.
The CJTF-HOA team, working in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, arrived with 10 tons of tent supplies to provide displaced families with temporary shelter.
This mission was a response to an official request from the government of Kenya to the American Embassy in Nairobi, which was submitted to the Department of Defense.
U.S. Air Force Captain Jeremy Oldham, the CJTF-HOA country engineer assigned to Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, discussed temporary relief options with representatives from Faza Village.
The supplies had to be unpacked and prepared for transport to Faza Village by hand. The team spent almost two days unloading the equipment and preparing it for transportation by a wooden boat called a dhow.
"Tides were a major logistical issue," said Lieutenant Commander Arthur Prevatte, team leader for Maritime Civil Affairs Team 207. "Arranging transportation that coincided with the high tide proved a challenge."
After making transportation arrangements, the team of 10 moved the tent equipment to Faza Village on September 17. Kenyans met the team at the pier to carry the equipment to the set-up site.
"One of the tenets of the mission was to deliver the tents, and that went very well," said Oldham. "It was a good opportunity to engage with Africans to show the friendship between the United States and the people of Kenya. We provided them a small means to help themselves."
Navy Chief Petty Officer Travis Canaday, a construction electrician assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 and currently deployed to CJTF-HOA, worked with a group of residents, Kenyan Red Cross members, and Kenyan civil servants to build the tents. After showing the construction of one tent, the group was able to set up another with only supervision from the Civil Affairs team.
"The Kenyans learned how to set up the tents almost instantaneously," said Canaday. "Language and cultural barriers were not a factor when showing them how to set up the tents. The few people I was speaking with spoke English very well."
Local residents toured the first tent after the team completed the construction and children used the tent as a place to play out of the sun before families were moved into the temporary shelter.
"We accomplished the mission by working with the other elements from CJTF-HOA and having remarkable corporation from the local District Commissioner office," said Prevatte.