The opening of the first mosque in Mt. Elgon region in October sent a message of peace to all the inhabitants of the region. In a colourful Muslim event ever held in the area, Muslims and non-Muslims from all over the villages on the slopes of Mt. Elgon including Ugandans gathered to witness the launching of the first and the only mosque in the region. The event was also graced by Muslim and community leaders and high government delegation from the office of the president. Addressing the gathering, area Regional Commissioner Rashid Mohammed, who was chief guest, acknowledged that the government alone could not match the needs of the people and thanked the Zakat Foundation for funding projects in Kenya. Mohammed promised that the government will prioritize peace and urged communities to cooperate. “The government shall continue enforcing law to keep peace in the area, but the cooperation of the people is necessary,” he said. He confirmed that most of the internally displaced persons have already been resettled after being vetted.
Chairman of Muslim community in the region Abdallah Krong described the event as one of its kind. He hailed the Zakat Foundation of America for funding the mosque construction and ushering in a new dawn in the region which has not known peace for long. Khadija Ibrahim Makokha, information manager of Islamic Youth Community Organization (IYCO) challenged the residents to use the mosque in enhancing their spiritual growth and promoting peaceful coexistence amongst people living in the violence prone region. The Country Representative of Zakat Foundation, Mohammed Wangusi appreciated the hospitality of the community during the construction period. He promised that the Foundation shall continue supporting community and Muslim Programs in the marginalized area. Mohammed Siati of the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance urged the youths in Mt. Elgon to participate fully in leadership and asked the government to involve youths in leadership and employment as one way of empowering youths in the region. District Commissioners who attended the ceremony included Haji Salat, Adan Harakhe and Halif Abdi. Muslim leaders who attended were Sheikh Ali Masoud, Shiekh Abubakar Omar Boyi, and Community leaders Joseph Kukuyu and Dr. Amin Ali. The mosque was constructed by IYCO, a local partner of the Zakat Foundation of America.