, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 23 – A section of Internally Displaced Persons have welcomed the move by the first family to cancel their annual Christmas parties at State House to support them.
They welcomed the gesture by President Mwai Kibaki and First Lady Lucy Kibaki that was announced on Wednesday and said IDPs were in dire need of humanitarian support.
"We are now appealing to the First Family to replace the contaminated food supplied to us three months ago with a fresh batch," Gwa Kung\’u IDP camp chairman Charles Kariuki said.
He said the government had promised to supply them with fresh food two weeks ago but nothing has been done.
They regretted that over three hundred bags have been lying idle in the camps after it was confirmed by public health officials that it was contaminated.
"Although we welcome the President\’s move, the government should consider disposing off the maize and replace it with fresh one. We have been sleeping hungry and yet nothing has been done to provide us with fresh maize," noted Mr Kariuki.
At Kasuku camp in Ol-Kalou, the IDPs there want the government to supplement the maize with other soft foods over this festive season.
The IDPs camping in Nyandarua urged the government to instead replace contaminated food supplied to them three months ago with fresh one.
"They should also supply us with rice and beans so that we can enjoy just like other members of the society. The children and the elderly have been suffering for so long," noted Jane Kimani, the chairlady.
Their Excellencies the President and the First Lady announced on Wednesday that there will be no parties this festive season at any of the State Houses.
Their Excellencies instructed that the funds that State House allocates for the parties be directed at providing ready- made hot meals to IDPs still staying in camps on both Christmas Day and New Year.
Their Excellencies also instructed that adequate foodstuff be availed to the IDPs until a permanent solution is soon found to address the issue of IDPs in the country.
Meanwhile, a Non Governmental organization has launched a Sh3 million project that will see thousands of IDPs still in camps get free medication over the Christmas festivities.
Foundation for Health and Social Economic Development for Africa will provide free medical camps to the victims until all of them are resettled.
The organization Executive Director Eunice Ngwawe said that the initiative was to enable the victims get medication as most of them could not afford the services from the public hospitals.
She also said that the programme had been rolled out during the ongoing rainy season when most of the children and the elderly were at risk of contaminating water bone diseases.
"We want to take action before any disease outbreak is reported especially now that the rains have been pounding many areas. This will be done in all camps for the IDPs," she said.
Miss Ngwawe was speaking after launching the program at Mawingu IDP camp in Ol-Kalou which is the largest in the country.