IDPs ask Uhuru to give them land

Internally displaced persons have questioned the government’s commitment to resettle them within the first 100 days since Jubilee assumed power.

They claim their predicament was taking a back seat despite the numerous promises by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to resettle them during their campaigns ahead of the March 4 General Election.

“IDPs voted overwhelmingly for Jubilee because of the promises the leaders made to us that the resettlement of pending cases would be done within the first 100 days,” said Mr Peter Tenna of Kenya National Organisation of Victims of Ethnic Clashes.

The displaced persons, however, praised the government for allocating an additional Sh300 million in this year’s Budget to buy land for resettling the IDPs still in camps.

Mau Forest evictions

According to reports from the defunct Special Programmes ministry, 723 IDP families still live in camps as at last January.

The report says another 1,200 families evicted by the government from Mau Forest in 2009 as part of efforts to rehabilitate the water catchment were yet to be resettled.

The IDPs blamed their harsh living conditions on government and donor fatigue in providing humanitarian supplies and delayed allocation of land to the victims as part of the restitution efforts.

Efforts to resettle the IDPs have faced various hurdles, including opposition by host communities to accommodate the displaced as was the case in Mau Narok.

In Mau Narok, the local community opposed the resettlement of 900 IDPs at Rose Farm — a 2,400-acre property bought by the government for the purpose.

Former Rift Valley PC Osman Warfa on numerous occasions tried to arbitrate the dispute but lack of political goodwill by leaders from Narok County derailed his efforts.