7 January 2013

Kenya: Landslide Survivors to Be Re-Settled - Prime Minister

Nairobi — Prime Minister Raila Odinga has formed a task force to earmark alternative land for re-settlement of families that were recently affected by landslides in Kerio Valley.

He said that the terrain in Kocholwo, Enogo and other affected areas is precarious and dangerous for human settlement.

"I have formed a taskforce to expeditiously handle this matter because our people cannot continue to suffer this way under our watch," said the PM.

Odinga made the announcement at Molol Primary School in Kerio South constituency, Elgeyo Marakwet County while addressing members of the public including families that were affected by landslides last month.

He pointed out that if elected, his government will give priority to conservation of the environment to protect the country's ecosystem.

Odinga pledged to fix the country's road network - especially in the rural areas - to enable farmers transport their agricultural produce to the markets if elected as president.

"There is no need of encouraging farmers to increase production when they cannot access markets due to poor roads. That is why the CORD coalition has a master plan to address all these challenges facing our farmers," he said.

He said that his government will aggressively tackle the problem of youth unemployment and create job opportunities in an effort to improve incomes and living standard of Kenyans.

The PM also promised to roll out the old person's Safety Net Programme from June this year through which the government will pay a monthly allowance to old people above 65 years of age.

He said that similar programmes have succeeded in alleviating problems facing old persons emerging economies in the world like India and Brazil.

He said that he was determined to implement the new Constitution and dismissed presidential hopefuls who opposed the enactment of the document noting that they lacked the capacity to implement it.

"Be wary of those who opposed the enactment of this Constitution. They are like hyenas in sheep skin. How can they hoodwink Kenyans that they can implement what they vehemently opposed?" he posed.

The PM remarked that his opponents had on several occasions mounted a propaganda war against him to besmirch his name but their efforts had failed miserably.

East Africa Community Minister Musa Sirma told the enthusiastic crowd that those who rigged the 2007 polls and denied ODM its rightful victory were still determined to grab power through the backdoor.

Sirma said that voters from the Kalenjin community were fully aware of this scheme and will not be ensnared by the ploy.

"They seized what was rightfully ours and we let it go in the interest of peace and tranquillity yet after five years, they still have the audacity to play tricks on us," he said.

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