THE HISTORY OF KITERE VILLAGE

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Kitere Bridge

Kitere village is located in Baomo sub location, Nderani location, Garsen North ward, Garsen constituency, Tana Delta sub county, Tana River County. It has an estimated population of more than 1100 people of ndera  pokomo subtribe. Mnazini, Kinyadu and Baomo are the surrounding villages and nearest villages.

Before the Ndera people of Kitere settled at their present village they used to live at Nkozi which was located in the north of Mnazini village on the riverine forest in the floodplains of River Tana. It was one of the centers of the ‘Pokomo’ traditional leadership known as the ‘KIJO.’ Before someone became a ‘MKIJO’ he was to undergo an activity natively known as ‘KUYUMIA NGAJI’ and that was done at Nkozi.

Later people relocated to Kitere because Nkozi was situated in the flood plains, floods used to occur twice in a year. The locals termed the seasons ‘SIKA for long rains season while short rains season was known by the upper Pokomo as KILIMO and CHIIMO for lower Pokomo. During this period, people erected structures above the water level known as ‘MAHANDAKI’ by upper Pokomo, while lower pokomos called them VILILI and lived in these structures all through the flood season.

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The year 1946 floods were ‘flood plus’. It was known here as ‘SELI YA NKOZI.‘ Floods covered almost everywhere even those areas that the yearly floods didn’t. By then Kitere was known but on the negative side. It was said that haunting spirits lived at Kitere. Others also said that some ancestors of Nkozi people could be heard talking at Kitere. There is still more, that ‘MIRI’ (a Pokomo dance) could be heard playing with this famous song at Ndera- ‘mpanzi mpanzi kuniyawa……nakwenda Kitere…….

People from Mnazini would set northwards in direction of Nkozi where the singing is being heard on the other side, those from Nkozi would be heading to the south toward Mnazini in response to the same singing and dancing. They would eventually meet on the way wondering where the real singing and dancing is coming from. Of course, those were not real people but as one said ‘Ne Maseha. (Evil spirits)

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Due to all that (said above), nobody dared to settle and live at Kitere. Now the 1946 floods had all the places around Nkozi covered with water. It was not possible to build the ‘MAHANDAKI’ as the water level to the bed was very high. Now the only option for the people was to flee using canoes. The escape saw them docking at Kitere. But it was not possible to settle before doing religious cleansing rituals that did away all haunting spirits.

Kitere is the home of academic giants in Pokomo; it has produced some of notable people political leaders such as the late honorable Badiribu Barisa and Honorable Adam Dhidha who have vied for gubernatorial in Tana River County.

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