Govt gives IDPs Sh1bn, orders camps closed

Thursday February 4 2016

Deputy President William Ruto, Devolution

Deputy President William Ruto, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, Special Programmes PS Josepheta Mukobe and other leaders in Karen when Mr Ruto announced the final resettlement of IDPs on February 4, 2016. PHOTO | DPPS 

By DPPS
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The government on Thursday released Sh1 billion to conclude the resettlement of all remaining internally displaced people (IDPs) in the country.

This brings to Sh17.5 billion the total amount spent by the government to resettle IDPs since 2008.

The IDPs were displaced during the 2007-2008 post-election violence and forest evictions.

Addressing representatives of IDPs at his Karen residence, Deputy President William Ruto said the last batch of funds would be wired to the accounts of the affected people beginning Friday.

The Sh1 billion was given to 5,261 households, the last group still living in camps.

Mr Ruto said the government did not expect to see any more camps since all those who were affected had been resettled.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, Principal Secretary Josephta Mukobe, National Land Commission chairman Muhammed Swazuri, and members of the task force appointed to coordinate the resettlement of IDPs, led by chairman Adan Wachu, were present at the function.

“From tomorrow (Friday), this money will be available in the IDPs’ bank accounts and we expect that no one will be in the camps by Monday and they will all be closed,” he said.

CASH PAYMENT

The deputy president instructed the Devolution CS to find mechanisms for arbitration on four farms that have been purchased for the resettlement program.

“I am also asking the Attorney-General to expedite the cases involving the 4,000-acre farms, including hiring more lawyers,” he said.

Mr Ruto disclosed that the government had provided cash or bought land for 28,924 displaced families since the 2008, with 20,170 of them being resettled in the past three years alone.

He asked county commissioners in Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Isiolo and Nyandarua, where most of the remaining IDP camps were, to help them move out of the camps as they have been compensated.

Mr Kiunjuri said apart from the cash payment of Sh200,000 per household, the government would give food to the IDPs to help in the resettlement program.

“Today’s (Thursday) exercise concludes the government’s effort to resettle all those who have been living in camps either on account of [the] post-election violence or eviction from forests,” he said.

Dr Swazuri expressed confidence that cases involving land purchased by the government for IDPs would soon be resolved and title deeds issued to the beneficiaries.

The IDPs' national chairman, Mr Patrick Githinji, said all the affected had been compensated and no one should claim they were left out.

“I thank the government for this generous gesture and give our assurance that the money given will be used in buying land or starting small businesses to sustain our lives,” he said.

Other IDP representatives present included Ms Fatuma Abdirahaman, from Isiolo, who said all the 393 displaced people from the county would move from the camps starting Monday.

Similar sentiments were made by David Mwangi of Nyandarua, Davis Lagat (Kiptagich) and Erinyit Eparon (Turkana).