Government urged to address plight of Kimboroa Forest evictees

Loneliness and ruined hopes best describes the fate of 65-year-old Japan Kasereen.

Pango cave has been his place of abode for the last three decades in Trans Nzoia.

Kasereen is among some 5,000 people who were forcefully evicted from Kimboroa forest in Saboti some 30 years ago.

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"After we were flushed out of the forest, I had nowhere to go. I took refuge here and expect to be buried here when I die," Kasereen told The Sunday Standard.

Kasereem has no family and says he does not know where his relatives fled to after the 1989 eviction.

"I hear that most of our family members moved to Uganda and Bungoma. We were forced to delink from each other by the inhumane eviction," Kasereen said.

The former student of Chewoiyet High School claimed lack of land forced him not to marry. "I did not see the need of marrying and bringing up a family when I don't have land. Life has been hard since we were smoked out of our homes,"," he said, adding that "I am just like a foreigner in my own country."

Protus Ndiema, a resident near the cave, said Kasereen moved to the area 30 years ago. “He is part of us despite living in the cave. We don't know where his relatives are," Ndiema said.

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Samuel Kiboi, another evictee, said the over 5,000 evictees are scattered in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties while some moved to Kapchorwa in Uganda.

"For many years, most of the families had regarded the forest as their home until the government deployed security personnel to destroy our homes and evicted us," Kiboi said. 

For many years, squatters in the county have unsuccessfully petitioned the Government to resettle them.  

Blind eye

Under Trans Nzoia Squatters Alliance, they protested that subsequent governments have neglected them. 

Christopher Matasia, the spokesperson of the group, urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to their rescue by helping them get resettled. 

Justice and Peace Centre Kitale, titles for land dished out to politically connected people Kitalale forest as it was meant for the evictees.

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Trans NzoiaChewoiyet High School