Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Orengo seeks Treasury nod to resettle Mau evictees

By PETER LEFTIE, pmutibo@ke.nationmedia.com
The Ministry of Lands wants Treasury to give it the greenlight to use funds set aside for post-election violence victims to resettle Mau evictees.
Lands minister James Orengo said the Ministry was allocated Sh1.5 billion in the last financial year for resettling victims of the chaos
He said he was ready to direct the funds towards resettling the Mau evictees languishing in makeshift tents.
“We have forwarded our budget (for the resettlement of Mau evictees), we are still awaiting feedback from Treasury.
"We could use funds meant for resettlement of displaced persons to relocate Mau evictees so long as Treasury assures us that we will get funds for the IDPs,” Mr Orengo said on the sidelines of a workshop on national land use policy at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi Tuesday.
According to estimates from the ministry, it will cost Sh1.5 billion to resettle and compensate thousands of families evicted from the Mau Forest.
Ironically, an equal amount allocated to the Ministry during the last financial year to resettle post-election violence victims remains unused because the Settlement Fund Trustees, who administer the funds are yet to authorise the expenditure.
It is this amount that Mr Orengo wants to direct towards resettling the Mau evictees if he is given assurance that Treasury will allocate it extra funds to resettle the post-election violence victims.
Last November, the Ministry wrote to Treasury asking for Sh3.4 billion to resettle 6,116 families evicted from Mau, Embobut and Chepyuk forests.
Addressing participants at the workshop, Mr Orengo promised to ensure that all the laws relating to land will be enacted within the time lines set out in the new Constitution.

Source: Daily Nation online edition

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