, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – The government on Friday said it will resettle the remaining 6,973 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in 21 camps and 7,107 forest evictees in the next two months.
Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi said other post-election violence integrated IDPs will be resettled after the IDP Policy is enacted into law.
“I appeal to all the integrated IDPs to be calm and patient since their issues will be addressed by the IDP Policy and the Bill. The Bill was passed on October 4and currently Parliament is working on a draft,” she said.
According to Lands Minister James Orengo, the government had identified 17,065 acres of land to resettle the IDPs in various parts of the country.
Following the post-election violence in 2008, over 650,000 Kenyans were displaced. To date, there are 240 households of integrated IDPs living in Uganda and 350 others in Kenya, which the government said will be resettled later.
The forest evictees who will be settled in the first phase include those displaced from Mau Forest, Tildet, Embobut and Kieni.
Kenya has a total of 40,000 registered evictees who will be resettled after enactment of the IDP Bill according to Murugi.
She urged those affected to remain calm and not to be misused by politicians who will want to use them to popularise their political interests. She further asked them to cease from holding demonstrations to give the government enough time to complete the process as it remains committed to doing so.
“Politicians will want to use you, but we ask you to be patient. The government is doing something… the politicians will just use you and dump you,” she warned.
She also cited new challenges of new IDPs that have moved to new camps saying it was a heavy burden on the government.
In view of recurrent forceful evictions, Orengo said his office was working on a framework to develop legal mechanisms that will regulate evictions in the country.
He said the law will allow owners of land to have a clear mechanism where there are disputes in settlement. The law will also empower those affected to have proper processes of fighting back where evictions are illegal.
Orengo also said the government was committed to preserving forests saying that it will not be deterred in its efforts to reclaim water catchment areas across the country.