The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has handed over assets worth over two billion shillings to the county government of Garissa.
The move marks the closure of Ifo 2 and Kambioos refugee camps that were de-gazetted in 2017.
Among the facilities handed over included schools, hospitals, police posts and boreholes.
The ceremony that was presided over by Interior chief Administrative Secretary Patrick Ntutu and attended by UNHCR and county officials saw the refugee agency officially hand over the facilities to Garissa County government.
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Ntutu urged the county government to put the facilities into full and proper use for the benefit of the residents.
“I want to encourage the County to partner with organizations and National Government Ministries to effectively utilize the assets. this should include preparing a comprehensive plan,” he said.
The government, Ntutu said will continue facilitating the attainment of durable solutions for asylum-seekers and refugees registered in Kenya through active collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
The PS in the state department for immigration Gordon Kihalangwa urged the leaders and residents to be patient noting that the government was working on the process of de-registering the Kenyans in the refugee database.
“The government has been working on it for quite some time now and I want to say that we are nearing completion. It is a complex issue that we cannot just rush to do,” he said
Local leaders led by Dadaab MP Mohamed Dahiye called for the resettlement of people saying the assets left behind in the two camps are enormous, and if left un-utilized, will be wasted, vandalized and eventually forgotten.
In 2013, the Government of Kenya, the Federal Government of Somalia and the UNHCR, entered into a tripartite agreement for voluntary repatriation of refugees.
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