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Government orders closure of IDP camps countrywide

By Sophiah Muthoni and PSCU | Published Fri, February 5th 2016 at 00:00, Updated February 4th 2016 at 22:15 GMT +3
Deputy President William Ruto meets representatives of internally displaced persons at his Karen residence yesterday. [photo: DPPS]

The Government has directed that all camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) be closed beginning next week.

Yesterday, the Government released Sh1,052,200,000 to conclude the resettlement of the remaining IDPs. The money will go to the accounts of some 5,261 families.

The money will go towards the resettlement of more than 5,261 families who were affected by the 2007-2008 post-election violence and those evicted from Mau Forest.

This brings the total amount spent on IDPs to Sh17.5 billion.

Deputy President (DP) William Ruto, who met representatives of IDPs at his Karen home yesterday, assured them that the money would be wired to beneficiaries’ accounts starting yesterday.

“From today, the money will be available in the IDPs’ bank accounts and we expect that by Monday no one will be remaining in the camps and that they will all be closed,” Ruto said.

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He asked county commissioners in Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Isiolo and Nyandarua where most of the remaining IDP camps are to facilitate the removal of the camps from Monday.

The DP also instructed the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning Mwangi Kiunjuri to find mechanisms for arbitration on four farms that have been purchased for the resettlement programme.

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

Ruto disclosed that the Government had provided money or bought land for 28,924 IDP families since the post-election violence, with 20,170 households being resettled in the last three years alone at a cost of Sh17.5 billion.

Patrick Githinji, the national chairman of the IDPs assured the DP that no other people will come up claiming to be IDPs after this final resettlement programme.

Githinji said he and the task force appointed by the Government to resettle displaced persons was satisfied with the process.

“I thank the Government for this generous gesture and assure that the monies given today will be used in buying land or starting small businesses to sustain our lives,” he added.

Ruto had earlier held a consultative meeting between officials of the Ministry of Devolution and Planning led by Mr Kiunjuri, the Chairman of the National Coordination Consultative Committee Adan Wachu and the Chairman of the National Land Commission Muhammad Swazuri and Githinji.

Kiunjuri said apart from the cash payout of Sh200,000 per household, the Government will give foodstuff to the IDPs as part of the resettlement programme.

“Today’s exercise concludes the Government’s effort to resettle all those who have been living in camps either on account of post-election violence or eviction from forests,” the Cabinet Secretary said.

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

Fatuma Abdirahaman, chair of the IDPs from Isiolo, similarly thanked the Government for the gesture saying all the 393 IDPs from the county will move from the camps starting Monday.

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


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