Conservation: State trains guns on 40,000 Mau settlers

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko addressing residents at Duka Moja in Narok on Friday. [Robert Kiplagat, Standard]
The fate of the more than 40,000 settlers in the Mau Forest is uncertain after the government re-ignited the eviction debate in the phase two section.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said plans to evict the families were underway in an attempt to save the dwindling ecosystem.

“Phase two of the eviction is looming. In the first phase, we managed to secure 12,000 acres. We shall stop at nothing until we ensure we restore the forest back to its original state,” vowed Tobiko.

The CS, who spoke at Duka Moja in Narok County blamed politics for the delay of the phase two evictions.

SEE ALSO :Rift Valley leaders seek talks over Mau

He warned that the families risk being surcharged for destroying government forest.

“I want to repeat that there shall never be anything like compensation. Those who encroached the forest destroyed trees and they should be made to pay for it. How can one demand compensation for encroachment?” posed the CS.

Tobiko dismissed title deeds of parcels of land in the Mau Forest area as ‘mere papers’. He said: “That title deed you claim to have is a mere piece of paper and you shall never use it to claim even a single penny from the government,”.

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Tobiko’s sentiments were echoed by Narok North legislator Moitalel ole Kenta who asked the government to address the Mau Forest issue once and for all for the sake of future generations.

“We need this issue to be sorted forthwith. Mau Forest is not only about Narok County but about the world. All those who encroached the forest must be flushed out,” said Mr Kenta.

SEE ALSO :All set for Mau forest evictions

Tobiko urged locals to plant trees to meet the 10 per cent forest cover per household as recommended by the government.

The Mau row has raged for years, with politicians using it as a campiagn agenda every election cycle.  

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Mau ForestKeriako TobikoEnvironment