, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 25- There was joy and celebration in IDP camps across the country on Friday when residents received an array of festive goodies and gift hampers from the First Family to celebrate Christmas.
More than 9,000 IDPs from 24 camps in Kuresoi, Rongai and Ol Kalou constituencies received hot meals and gift packages donated by President Mwai Kibaki and the First Lady Lucy Kibaki.
"The President and First Lady are very much privy to your issues and they don\’t want you to spend another year living in camps. They want you to go back to the lives you used to live before the post election violence," said State House Comptroller Nelson Githinji.
Each family\’s gift package included two kilos of sugar; two kilos of wheat flour, another two kilos of rice, together with cooking fat and 250-gramme packets of tea leaves.
Earlier this week, the First Family directed that all monies used for hosting state receptions be used in feeding the less fortunate in the society.
Dr Githinji, who was accompanied by the Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi, further urged the IDPs to uphold peaceful and harmonious coexistence.
Ms Murugi, assured the IDPs of the government\’s commitment in uplifting their living conditions, and announced that they were looking for 10,000 hectares to resettle them.
She asked the affected families to assist the Government identify the said land and also ensure that it was hospitable.
"This year\’s Christmas will be special and memorable to the IDPs as the Government continued to bring to an end their plight and in the very near future," she said.
During the occasion the Minister also urged the camp management committees to incorporate women so as to ensure that their unique needs were addressed. She also promised to install vital facilities such as dispensaries and schools in the IDP camps.
Disadvantaged children in 15 districts of the coast province were also not left out of the philanthropic act.
The children from 100 children\’s homes and three statutory institutions received various food items including rice, wheat flour, cooking fat, biscuits, juice and milk.
Speaking when he flagged off the distribution of the foodstuffs at Mombasa Children\’s Home, Coast Provincial Commissioner Ernest Munyi said the donation demonstrated the love the President and the First Lady had for the less fortunate in society.
The Provincial Commissioner noted that the gifts would go a long way in ensuring that the children celebrated their Christmas.
Mr Munyi also appealed to other well-wishers to come out and assist the needy people in the society.