TOGETHER WE STAND TO SHAPE OUR FUTURE

SOFIA ABDI NOOR TABLED THIS MOTION ON (Debated on 16th September, 2009)
( RESETTLEMENT/ COMPENSATION OF IDPS IN GARISSA)

Mrs. Noor: Mr. Speaker, Sir---
Mr. Speaker: Order, Mrs. Noor! You were late; we have called this Question out twice and you must tender an explanation as to why you were not present to ask this Question. Otherwise, you are out of order and I will take action immediately!
Mrs. Noor: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I apologize for coming late. I was caught up in a jam. I do apologize honestly.
Mr. Speaker: That is fair enough! Proceed and ask your Question, Mrs. Noor; do not be intimidated!
Mrs. Noor asked the Minister of State for Special Programmes:-
(a) whether she is aware that there are internally displaced persons affected by drought in 1992 and floods in 1997 who are currently living in the outskirts of Garissa Town; and,
(b) what plans she has to resettle and compensate the IDPs in line with Vision 2030.
The Assistant Minister, Ministry of State for Special Programmes (Mr. M.M.
Ali): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) I am aware of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were affected by the drought in 1992 and those affected by floods in 1997 and are currently living in the outskirts of Garissa Town.
(b) The current resettlement program being undertaken by the Government focuses on the IDPs resulting from the post 2007 election violence. However, once funds are allocated to settle all IDPs then, those who were displaced by the drought in 1992 and those affected by floods in 1997 currently living in the outskirts of Garissa Town will be settled alongside other IDPs who may be living in similar situations across the country.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mrs. Noor: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to take this chance to thank the Assistant Minister for acknowledging that there are IDPs living in the peripheries of Garissa Town and who were affected by the drought in 1992 and by the floods in 1997. Could the Assistant Minister explain why it has taken long for these IDPs to be resettled? The answer given is that once funds are available, those IDPs and other IDPs will be resettled.
Mr. Assistant Minister, these people are suffering. What immediate measures are you putting in place to address this issue, particularly their shelter, food and several other issues?
Mr. M.M. Ali: Mr. Speaker, Sir, as far as food is concerned, we do provide food regularly, just like any other ordinary citizens all over the country to ensure that Kenyans are provided with enough food whenever need arises.

As to what action we are taking to ensure that funds will be availed, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the current Fund which we are using to resettle the IDPs was created through a Gazette Notice by the Minister for Finance and it is strictly for the IDPs who were displaced by the post election violence. We have, however, communicated to the Minister and we are in the process of having discussions such that the same Gazette Notice may be amended to accommodate other IDPs across the country so that they can as well be resettled. It might as well be imperative that hon. Members in the House help us follow the same so that the honourable Minister, for the time being, will be able to amend the same notice to accommodate other IDPs.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Chachu: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government was able to find funds to resettle the IDPs that were affected after the crisis we had during the last General Election. Now, we are being told that the IDPs in Garissa will only be settled after funds are available.
IDPs are IDPs, regardless of the cause of the displacement. If the Government is able to find funds for the IDPs displaced after the post election violence, are the IDPs in Garissa lesser Kenyans than the other Kenyans? Can the funds not be available for them?
Mr. M.M. Ali: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do agree with my friend, hon. Chachu and, indeed, the rest of the hon. Members who spoke. It is true; IDPs are IDPs, regardless of the situation that occasioned the displacement of the IDPs. However, the magnitude of the post election violence was too much. I think that is what occasioned the Government to quickly set up that fund. We are addressing this situation and I have similar situations in my own constituency. So, I agree with the hon. Members and we are moving with speed to ensure that the plight of these IDPs will be addressed.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Njuguna: Mr. Speaker, Sir, while the Assistant Minister admits that the plight of the IDPs in this community has been the same for the last 17 years, it is really very disappointing. What has the Ministry or the Government been doing to allow the IDPs to access education and health care for the last 17 years? Could the Assistant Minister specifically indicate to us what the Ministry has been doing about this area?
Mr. M.M. Ali: Mr. Speaker, Sir, my Ministry has not been in existence for the last 17 years, as the hon. Member is saying. However, the Government has been able to allow or provide education and health facilities for the affected IDPs in whichever part of the country, just like the rest of the citizens of this nation.
Mrs. Noor: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The IDPs in Garissa have been affected for the last 17 years. These people are given rations, as the Assistant Minister has said, but that ration is not adequate and it is not serving them properly. What immediate measures is the Assistant Minister taking to ensure that these IDPs are provided with adequate rations?
Mr. M.M. Ali: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the food situation generally in the country is bad and, indeed, it is worsening. So, what the hon. Member is saying is true. We are trying to see how we can increase food rations to many parts of the country that have been hard hit by drought, and not only in Garissa. Equally, the people affected in Garissa, such as the ones he has mentioned, will be catered for adequately.

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