, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 5 – The government on Friday announced that over 3,500 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) would be resettled in the next three months.
The programme will see the IDPs get new homes valued at between Sh60,000 and Sh75,000.
Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi said that although her ministry needed Sh32 billion to resettle all the people displaced by the 2007 post election violence, they only got an allocation of Sh5 billion.
“We need a lot of money and I don’t think the government has a choice; we have to get funding. Right now we are trying to see where we can get the money through the Treasury but the plans have not been finalised yet,” she said.
Some of the funding for the resettlement has been provided by the African Development Bank which is also scheduled to resettle 19,000 households through a long term programme. Under the government funding, another 9,500 households will be resettled.
The government further announced that it would provide free seedlings to the identified households in an attempt to make them self reliant.
“The priority now is to remove people who are in camps. We don’t want them to keep relying on the government for their upkeep. They have to go back to their normal lives and that is what we are trying to help them do,” she said.
Ms Murugi who spoke during her ministry’s launch of the Rapid Results Initiative explained that the government also intended to feed 37 needy districts in an attempt to alleviate hunger in preparation for the looming La Nina.
She added that the National Grain Reserve aimed at stocking up its capacities to four million bags.
“We work in collaboration with the World Food Programme and we have identified lead agencies who are able to reach areas such as Tana, Turkana Central and most parts of North Eastern Kenya because they are prone to famine,” she observed.
She also called for a paradigm shift in the manner in which her ministry and the government in general conducted its works. She explained that the bureaucratic red tapes in public institutions prevented the government from accomplishing most of its tasks.
Ms Murugi further informed her audience that Kenya had been unable to achieve her mid-term Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“I don’t know how many of you were following the MDGs review in New York but it was very sad because none of the African countries had realised the midterm goals. So we need to pull up our socks if we want to accomplish Vision 2030,” she said.
The Special Programmes Minister added that corruption and wastage in the country continued hindering development.
“Yes, we have done well to some extent but not well enough. There are challenges that threaten to wipe out the gains we have made and the most difficult one is graft,” she said.
She also reiterated her past remarks over her ministry’s intent of fighting and preventing HIV/AIDS. Ms Murugi asked Kenyans to stop burying their heads in the sand and deal with the health risks that homosexual relations posed to the general public.
“New infections will continue coming unless we address where they are coming from which is mostly through intravenous drug users and from the gays. We must address these issues because we cannot wipe out these people from the face of the earth,” she said.