17 January 2006

Kenya: MPs: Families Kicked Out of Forest Starving

Nairobi — Families evicted from Mau forest are starving, four MPs, two of them Cabinet ministers, said yesterday. The more than 10,000 families, the leaders said, had suffered greatly following their eviction from the forest by the Government mid last year. They urged the Government to urgently resettle the families.

Speaking separately in Bomet and Trans Mara districts at the weekend, ministers John Koech and Gideon Konchellah and nominated MPs Kipkalya Kones and Franklin Bett, stated that an immediate solution must be found to save the families from further trauma.

Have no money

"The families have no money, food, clothing and their children are out of school. The situation should be not allowed to continue for the sake of their innocent and helpless children," said Mr Kones.

The leaders maintained that the victims had legally acquired the farms from which they were evicted and issued with title deeds and it would only be fair for the Government to resettle them and give them relief food.

They added the families, who were camping at various trading centres in Bomet and Narok districts, had been reduced to paupers "for mistakes not of their own making".

Mr Koech and Mr Kones were speaking at Kapkesosio village in Chepalungu constituency, Bomet District, during the burial of Mrs Hellen Tamogei, 76. She was the mother of the township chief, Mr Samuel Ngeno.

Accompanied the two

Mr Konchellah and Mr Bett were speaking at Kapchube trading centre in Birrar division. Trans Mara district commissioner Julius Mathenge accompanied the two.

Mr Bett told the Government to introduce school feeding programmes in the drought-hit parts of the country.

The move, he said, would ensure the retention of pupils and students in their learning institutions.

Separately, the outgoing Bomet district commissioner Joseph Otieno said at the weekend that more than 23,000 people in the region were faced with starvation. Mr Otieno told the Press in his office at Bomet Town that 2,566 bags of maize, 2,022 of beans and 11,500 kilogrammes of cooking oil was urgently required for distribution in the affected areas.

"More than 30,000 livestock in the district have also been affected by the drought," he said.

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