8,000 IDPs set to be resettled

Posted Sunday, March 31 2013 at 23:30

In Summary

  • Plans come after the government acquired land in Trans Nzoia to accommodate displaced families

More than 8,000 displaced persons in Trans Nzoia County will be resettled this month now that the government has acquired land for them.

The property is among 49 other farms that the Lands and Special Programmes ministries had procured for conclusion of resettlement of internally displaced persons, Mau Forest evictees and squatters on the government waiting list.

Resettlement officer Francis Kioko said the delay in the resettlement was due to logistical problems, including negotiations with landowners.

Consultations are going on to ensure 40 per cent of local squatters were included on the list of beneficiaries.

Officials coordinating the resettlement said there would be fairness in the allocation of land.

“We are grateful that our members will heave a sigh of relief when they are finally allocated land at Endebess on April 15,” said Mr Daniel Kezengwa.

Each household will be allocated 2.4 acres.

The government sourced funds from the African Development Bank, which were also used in financing the construction of houses for displaced families that had returned to their farms.

“To date, 16,000 houses have been built in Njoro, Molo, Kuresoi, Koibatek and Uasin Gishu,” said a report on resettlement of IDPs.

Some Mau evictees were yet to be resettled on land recently acquired through the Ministry of Lands.

Some 700 households, including 329 displaced by the 2007 poll chaos, will be resettled on a 3,200-acre farm at Majani Mingi in Nakuru County.

Last week, a human rights group asked the Special Programmes ministry to consult widely before moving IDPs to new settlement schemes.

The group said efforts to resettle victims of the post-election violence, Mau evictees and squatters should consider whether they would face hostilities in the new areas.

“It is unfortunate that some government officials are rushing to move the landless without working out the logistics for their peaceful resettlement,” the Kenya National Organisation for Victims of Ethnic Clashes said in a statement issued in Nakuru.

With the devolved system of governance, some politicians are retreating to their tribal cocoons and inciting the public to oppose the Central Government’s efforts to resettle IDPs from other counties in some settlement schemes.

Opposed efforts

Such schemes have been established by the government in Narok, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia.

The lobby was reacting after some leaders opposed government efforts to resettle 900 IDPs and Mau evictees at a 2,400-acre farm on the Narok County/Nakuru County border.

The provincial administration has cautioned the Special Programmes ministry to suspend the relocation of IDPs until the local leaders were consulted on the matter.

The government purchased the property from a white settler in 2010.