10 January 2014

Kenya: Embobut Forest Squatters Say They're Yet to Get Cash

THE government has been told to quickly correct the Embobut forest squatters accounts to enable them receive their money to enable them move out of the forest.

Elgeyomarkwet county leader of minority Benson Kiptire said many evictees' accounts had errors and they were taken to Nairobi for correction before their money being wired into the accounts.

He said that was the reason most of them were still living in the forest despite the compensation and resettlement exercise conducted by the president last year.

"We want more time since bank accounts' correction is being done in Nairobi by the same government and that is why some of them have not received their money.Where will they go now,"Kiptire said.

General Service Unit,police,KWS and regular police have been taken to the area to eject forest dwellers. However Kiptire said there was no need for the government to use force since they are willing to settle outside the forest.

"Apart from those whose bank accounts had errors, some who had received money were still looking for land to buy and you know it is very procedural. So the government should give them more time,"Kiptire added.

He said this may lead to them squandering the money in trying to rent houses to live in due to lack of time to search for land.

"We risk making them squatters again since if they will not get enough time to look for land,they will spend the money for accommodation amongst other needs,"He said.

Those compensated included landslide victims and forest dwellers.

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