Appeal to resettle 10,000 evicted from Marmanet Forest

Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Laikipia County leaders have asked the government to compensate former Marmanet Forest evictees.

According to the leaders, more than 10,000 former settlers live in deplorable conditions in Laikipia West informal settlements three decades after being flushed out of the forest.

Governor Joshua Irungu, Senator John Kinyua, and a slew of other leaders, led by Irungu, said it was past time for such families to be compensated or resettled.

They spoke at South Marmanet Forest in Laikipia West during the launch of the National Tree Planting and Growing Exercise, which was graced by Lands CS Zachary Njeru, who was assisted by Defence PS Patrick Mariru.

“We now have the government that we elected. Our people, who were evicted in 2000 are still impoverished. They must be compensated,” Irungu said.

He said despite being evicted, they had all the legal documents proving their ownership of the land.

“President Moi’s former administration offered them land. They were eventually issued title deeds, which were later revoked,” the governor added. 

Kinyua said the residents have since been forced to live in camps popularly known as Kanga.