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IDPs want govt to build them houses

07 June 2013, 12:20 Arap Yego

When they were bought land by the state in Tran-Nzoia, 236 families of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Mt Elgon in Bungoma County dreamt of a new home, but  their hopes are now dashed.

Five months since they were resettled, the IDPs who were evictees from the controversial Chepyuk Phase III scheme have no roofs over their heads. It is not just housing that they lack; the families have never received a cent for their upkeep, like their other counterparts in other parts of the country.

The desperate families, whose representatives believe they are either forgotten by the state or were fleeced by a clique of people who were involved in their resettlement, are now pleading with the state to come to their aid.

Living in deplorable conditions

When the media visited Patwaka Farm, where the group was resettled in Saboti Constituency, they come face to face with the deplorable conditions the displaced persons are staying in.

There are less than 10 houses in the 742 acre piece of land that was bought by the government for the families at a cost of KES 180 million.

Pit latrines serving the population of over 1 000 people, both children and adults, are a handful.

The IDPs spokesman Joseph Ngeywa narrates their ordeal they since they relocated to the farm.

“We came on foot from Chepyuk in Cheptais District to this place, trekking over 100 kilometers, with our children and little property. We thought we would be compensated in vain. We had been promised that we would be built houses, but that has never happened five months after we were dumped here,” laments Ngeywa.

Strict instructions

Ngeywa further reveals that an unnamed provincial administrator gave them strict instructions when the team visited the area, warning them not to put up houses using tents. They were also warned not to cut down any tree in the area to build houses.

Ngeywa notes that the stringent conditions have made their lives hard and forced them to share amongst themselves shelter under neglected farm houses.

Mzee Samuel Juma Naibei, 69, whose house was burnt in Chepyuk during the height of the Sabaot Land Defence forces (SLDF) reign, appealed to the government and well-wishers to assist them put up a decent shelter.

“I sleep in a disused maize silo with over 30 other people. We got neither mattress nor blanket to cover ourselves and this area being adjacent to Mt Elgon Forest is very cold,” he said.

idp family

Mzee Naibei complained bitterly about the group being forgotten by the concerned authorities.  To prove the point, he gave an example of food relief ratios, which he disclosed are always taken to their old home in Kopsiro Division.

“We are forced to walk for over 100 Kilometers back to our old homes to get 6kg of relief maize food. Never mind that it would have been easier or most convenient if the relief was brought,” said Naibei.

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