Impunity purge should extend to reclamation of Mau Forest land

The ongoing war on impunity involving demolition of buildings on road reserves and riparian land is well on track. However, other battles to save Kenya shouldn’t be forgotten.

Top on the list is the restoration of the Mau Forest ecosystem which has been a thorn in the flesh of various administrations. And with the current activity and noise around the indefatigable bulldozers and the vigour of the Director of Public Prosecution, it might be tempting for the Executive to conveniently overlook issues around Mau Forest.

This is a reminder to the authorities that the public is keenly watching and following developments in the Mau, eager to once and for all slay the impunity dragon that has led to the encroachment and destruction this vital forest. A report by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry details key recommendations that ought to be implemented if the country is serious to reclaim endangered ecosystems.

For instance, the developers of the reports have found out that no titles exist for a majority of the blocks of landthat make up the forest ecosystem. Sections of the forest too remain unfenced, again increasing the possibilities of future encroachments.

The importance of Mau cannot be overemphasised. From it, Lake Natron, one of the few places in the world that provides a natural breeding ground for flamingoes is nourished. Several major rivers get their tributaries from the forested slopes of this ecosystem. The Mara Triangle, globally famous as a tourist must-visit destination entirely depends on it for survival. We urge the Executive not to forget one of Kenya’s longest running environmental wars that has made and broken political careers in equal measure.

Let us take advantage of this public goodwill and rest the ghosts of the Mau. The stars might never again align as they have at the moment. Let us put aside politics and deal with Mau with a finality.

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