11 January 2013

Kenya: Guards Evict Kerio Mudslide Victims From State Camps

More than 1,000 families displaced by mudslides in Kerio Valley were yesterday evicted from government houses where they had been given temporary shelter.

The families had been relocated to the houses belonging to the Forestry and Water ministries in Kaptagat and Sabor forests as they await resettlement.

However, officials from the Kenya Forest Service rejected the plan and evicted the families. KFS deployed heavy security personnel who moved the residents out of the unoccupied government house.

Keiyo South DC Arthur Bunde said KFS refused to allow the families to occupy the houses temporarily as they wait for resettlement by the government.

"We are sorting out the matter but its true that the KFS refused to allow the families to occupy the houses on grounds that they are on forest land," said Bunde.

He said the forest guards argued they had no authority to allow the resettlement. The families were displaced when their homes were hit by mudslides following heavy rains last month.

The government promised to resettle them in the forests under a land exchange programme. Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Special Programmes minister Esther Murugi visited the families and said promised to approve the land exchange.

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