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Chinese communities donate to victims' families after Kenya attacks

By HOU LIQIANG in Nairobi, Kenya (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-04-08 17:24

Chinese communities donate to victims' families after Kenya attacks

A donation table has been set up at the entrance of the funeral parlor to accept donations. [Photo by Hou Liqiang/chinadaily.com.cn] 

Even though the identification of victims of last week's terrorist attacks is still ongoing, Chinese communities in Kenya have already rallied to donate money to families of the victims, with many saying Kenya is their second home and that they want to contribute.

Many family members of the victims have arrived in Chiromo Funeral Parlour of the University of Nairobi, waiting for the call of the host to mourn the bodies of their beloved. Many of them burst into tears and even collapsed after they came out. Those who were overcome with emotion were escorted into a temporary counseling center supported by the Kenya Red Cross.

Nathan Kigotho, who works at a temporary information center at the funeral parlor, said they have managed to indentify 104 bodies by comparing the fingerprints with that of their IDs and that identification is expected to be complete this week.

Due to the high temperatures, the bodies have started to degrade, making identification difficult, he added.

According to a post on the wall of the funeral parlor, the Kenyan government will meet the funeral expense of the victims. They have ordered 142 coffins for all the victims, and the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society, will foot the transport costs to their respective homes for burial, said the post.

It also said an initial amount of 100,000 Ksh will be provided to families of each deceased student and the money will be paid on Wednesday with the help of Garissa University College and Moi University.

At the left side of the entrance of the funeral parlor, a donation table is set up to accept donations. Many people, companies and organizations have been coming to donate water and biscuits and other daily necessities to support the family members.

Meanwhile, the Chinese community has been donating money since Sunday. According to the Kenya Overseas Chinese Association, four donation points have been set up to accept donations. The donation points will be open until this Saturday, and the amount received hasn't been counted yet.

Gao Wei, the vice chairman of the association said they might give the money they receive to the Kenya Red Cross or to Garissa University College, and they are still considering and haven't made a final decision yet.

"We are Chinese and we are also Kenyans. Kenya is our second home. We should make an effort to help," Gao said.

One of the donors is Huang Jinhui who has been in Kenya for eight years. "I am a Kenyan as well, we should do something," said Huang.

The terrorist attack happened in Garissa University College in Kenya's Northeastern town of Garissa on Thursday and 148 lives were lost, including 142 students. The college is a branch of Moi University. The attack also injured dozens of others. Three Kenyan soldiers and three police officers were killed in the operation before the four militants were killed.

Al-Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage said fighters from the Somalia-based extremist group were responsible. The al-Qaida-linked group has launched a series of attacks in Kenya, including the one at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in 2013 which claimed 67 lives.

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