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1. Send protest letters.2. Urge a friend to act.3. Link to us and download logo.


The Ogiek, an indigenous people living mainly in Kenya's Mau Forest, are fighting to remain in their ancestral homeland. The former government tried to force them out of the forests, allegedly to protect the environment. But the Ogiek pose not only no environmental threat, but are actually the guardians of these forests since time immemorial.

Take sides !
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

( Elie Wiesel )

 

O f all the things you can do for the Ogiek, sending a protest letter is most important.
G et more involved by telling friends about the Ogiek.
f you prefer, you can mail or fax a letter yourself to Kenyan officials.
very letter sent will make a difference. Why?
enya's new government listens to your voice.

 

Use our model letter below to send protest letters to Kenyan officials ( see list ) in Kenya and abroad urging them to stop the destruction of Mau Forest .

Or mail it yourself to the Government addresses or to the Kenyan officials in your country. See the specific address list.

 

Model protest letter

 

  • Firstly, please open the mail function by clicking on the address hyperlink.
  • Secondly copy and paste the prepared text into your mail and change or amend as you like.
  • Hit SEND and we will do the rest. Your message will reach the addresees!
  • Thank you very much for your support!

 

  • Click mailbutton to send  !!!  

 

[Date]

Your Excellency: 

I am writing to express my concern about the continued harassment of the Ogiek, an indigenous plant- and honey-gathering and hunting people that have lived in Kenya's Mau Forest for hundreds of years.

For decades, the Ogiek have fought with first the British colonial and then the Kenyan government over their rights to inhabit their traditional homelands (e.g. in East and South West Mau Forest, Mount Elgon Forest etc.). They have all along sought the recognition of this area as their ancestral land.

After years of dispute, authorities have continuously refused to recognize this heritage as Ogiek land and instead ordered the Ogiek to leave the forest, saying that they had been allocated separate land years ago but had abandoned it. The Ogiek know that they have a right to live in their ancestral homeland and that the former government wanted to give the land to private individuals rather than to conserve it for the benefit of the Ogiek and the entire nation. On February 16, 2001, the former government announced through the official Kenya gazette that some 147,000 acres of Mau Forest would be excised to settle the landless. This move effectively would remove approximately 70 percent of Mau Forest from the legal control of the Forest Act and leaves the Ogiek land vulnerable to invasion by land speculators and grabbers.

I am particularly concerned about the latest, brutal evictions in Feb./March 2005, which were only stopped by a court injunction on 02 March 2005 and the atrocities and eviction committed against the Ogiek by your armed forces in June 2005 despite two High Court injuctions. We ask that you do everything in your power to ensure that the parliamentary order is refined, spare the Ogiek and that similar intrusions into their traditional  lives as conservators of the forests never can take place any more under your governance. The Ogiek are also concerned about the ongoing illegal logging by outsiders in the Mau Forest which is destroying their cultural and hunting grounds.

The Ogiek community does not pose an environmental threat to the forest or the wildlife. The real environmental threat to the Mau Forest came from the former Kenyan government, which was allowing logging companies to cut down trees in the Mau Forest. Still many of Kenya's protected forests have been illegally sold or given to developers. The former government imposed a partial logging ban which exempts three big logging companies: Pan African Paper Mills, Raiply Timber, and Timsales Ltd. The three firms were exempted because Raiply and Timsales claim to employ over 30,000 Kenyans, while Pan African Paper Mills (a 50% Worldbank owned entity) was exempted because "the government has shares in it and it was said to be important to the economy."

Thus, while the government allows powerful logging companies to cut down trees in the forest, it is persecuting an indigenous people who pose no environmental threat and lack political power. However, we are pleased that your government said on July 6, 2001 that it had banned logging in the forest, and we ask that you ensure that illegal logging in the Mau Forest stops.

Please do everything in Your Excellency's power to guarantee that your government will respect the rights of this minority people by allowing them to retain their natural habitats and halting the de-gazettement and allocation of land in Mau Forest to outsiders in perpetuum. Also a suit the community has filed in the High Court still has not rendered a final decision, which under wise judges only can come out pro Ogiek.

In addition, I respectfully ask that you do all that is necessary to stop the wanton destruction of Mau and Mount Elgon Forests. Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response. Please keep me informed.

Sincerely,
[your name, affiliation, and country]

 

Petition in Swahili !

 

Recipients:

Presidency
His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta
State House
Nairobi,Kenya

 

 

Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Chambers
Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya Law Reform Commission
Maendeleo House
Nairobi, Kenya

 

[ Address information | Return to letter ]

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If you prefer, you can mail or fax a letter yourself to Kenyan officials. Just copy our model protest letter (as a Microsoft Word 6.0/95 or text-only document), amend it or use your own letter, then mail it to the addresses listed or to Kenyan officials in your country.

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