The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: State Gives 78 Acres to IDPs

THE government has conceded defeat and allowed a group of IDPs who invaded a 78-acre property to be resettled on the land. The Ministry of Special Programmes agreed to resettle the IDPs from Jikaze camp in Mai Mahiu on the piece of land which was earlier meant for IDPs from Pipeline camp in Nakuru.

The move follows an incident at the weekend where IDPs invaded the land in Ndabibi and vowed not to leave. The 94 families said they have suffered for long in the camp as the government concentrated on other regions. Reacting to this accusation, Central Rift regional coordinator for resettlement Alois Lentoimaga agreed to the IDP's demand to be resettled on the land.

He was, however, quick to add that only 30 of the families will be resettled on the land while the rest will be moved to either Laikipia of Subukia. "Originally the IDPs from Jikaze camp had refused to be resettled arguing that they wanted cash. We were surprised by their move to invade this land," he said. He ruled out cash noting that the government will only allocate land to the IDPs and called on them to co-operate.

Lentoimaga said Jikaze camp had 145 families and added that the balance will have to be resettled in Laikipia and Subukia. He promised that the 30 families in Ndabibi will get tents, non-food items and food rations as they restart their lives. Meanwhile IDPs living in Gilgil have accused the government of taking long in resettling them and called on President Kibaki to intervene.

The group's leader Beatrice Nyokabi said the resettlement process has stalled and they are in the dark over their fate. She expressed concern over sentiments by Special Programmes PS that there is no land to resettle them. "We have provided tens of copies of title deeds to the government and we are surprised by their sentiments that there is no land to resettle us," Nyokabi said.

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