Ministry pledges Christmas gifts for over 2,000 IDPs still in camps

PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA Special Programmes PS Andrew Mondoh (right) addresses Mau Forest evictees who were resettled at Chemusian Farm in Uasin Gishu county on December 14, 2012. He said the government would support them for only six months.

What you need to know:

  • PS says Mau evictees and all displaced persons will receive tokens after failure to beat December 31 resettlement deadline

The government will give Christmas tokens to all internally displaced persons and Mau evictees as a consolation for failing to meet the December 31 resettlement deadline.

The homeless families are set to spend their fifth Christmas in filthy camps after efforts to give them homes before the end of the year were hampered by unavailability of land.

Special Programmes Permanent Secretary Andrew Mondoh at the weekend appealed to the 2,000 victims on their waiting list to remain patient.

During his tour of three camps in Nakuru and Kericho counties, Mr Mondoh said the government was looking for land to resettle the families.

Some of the Mau evictees are yet to be fully resettled in the parcels they were allocated recently. The government acquired a 3,200-acre farm for the 700 households, including 329 families that were displaced during the 2007/08 post poll violence, at Majani Mingi in Nakuru county.

The PS said the government would hire private surveyors to speed up the demarcation of the land. The evictees had been promised that sub-division would be done within two weeks but the exercise is yet to start, two months later.

At Kissima Farm in Njoro, some 449 families broke into song and dance after Mr Mondoh announced that the government had acquired a 1,112-acre farm for them.

“This is now your home. Each one of you will get two acres and the government is ready to build you homes and help you settle down,” he said.

The government bought the land at Sh250,000 per acre, according to the PS. The government, the official said, had successfully resettled more than 10, 000 IDP families that were uprooted from their homes at the height of post election chaos.

“We expect to finalise the exercise before the next General Election,” he said.

At the same time, the first batch of 400 families that were flushed out of Embobut Forest in Elgeyo Marakwet will be resettled in Moiben, Uasin Gishu.

Mr Mondoh at the weekend said the government had acquired two parcels measuring 1,400 hectares for them.

“The greatest challenge in resettlement is sourcing for land. However, we successfully acquired two parcels of land in Moiben and the ministry will start resettling the first batch of 400 households,” he said.

The government recently finalised vetting of 3,500 forest evictees and came up with the list of 2, 800 people who will be given alternative land.

Mr Mondoh also said the Cabinet had adopted IDP Policy, which will govern the resettlement of displaced people.

He was speaking at Chemusian farm in Uasin Gishu, where 413 families from Mau forest were resettled.

The families were each given two and a quarter acres of land and advocated for an eco- village system of settlement.

Under the system, the families will use the quarter acre to construct houses and the rest will be used for farming.