State surveyors begin to draw Mau Forest boundary

Government surveyors have started establishing a boundary between the Mau Forest in Narok South and human settlements in the area.

This is after the government evicted 10,000 families from the 17,101-acre forest land two weeks ago.

Speaking yesterday, Narok County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti said after the boundary has been established, families who will be found to have breached it will be evicted.

"The forest will be fenced to keep away those who want to encroach on it," he said.

On November 1, during an event to plant 10 million trees in the Mau Forest, Environment Cabinet Secretary  Keriako Tobiko said the Kenya Water Tower Agency has pledged to put up a 50-kilometre fence in the complex.

Its radius, however, is 119 kilometres. Mr Tobiko asked other agencies to help the government fence the entire forest.

Mr Kimiti added that the police had restricted access to the forest, saying allowing free movement into it would pose a security threat.

He was reacting to a recent demonstration held by a section of residents who were evicted from the forest. They said they wanted to be allowed into the forest to check on their crops. In response, Kimiti said if everyone were allowed in, thieves would also get the space to steal from people's farms.