News 2008

 

Raila orders stop to Mau ruin



DAILY NATION

Story by LUCAS BARASA and JULIENNE LAULER

22. 07. 2008



The fate of thousands of people living in Mau Forest will be determined by a task force launched by Prime Minister Raila Odinga .

However, the 21-member team was directed to ensure any further destruction of the water tower or encroachment was immediately stopped.

Speaking after naming the team at his office, Mr Odinga who has been facing opposition from some Rift Valley MPs over the Mau Complex said the committee has to stop further cutting of trees and charcoal burning.

“No vehicle should transport timber from Mau... There’s an inescapable imperative to restore the forests,” Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by Agriculture Minister William Ruto, Lands Minister James Orengo and MP Isaac Ruto, said.

Compensated

The committee has two weeks to develop its terms of reference and present for approval. It will carry an audit of people living in Mau and decide those to be compensated.

The PM denied that those living in the forest must leave by October and said they will not be evicted “but resettled elsewhere in a humane manner.”

Mau, he said, was a vital national, regional and international asset as most rivers that drain into Lake Victoria originate from the resource.

The Greater River Nile originates from Lake Victoria and Mr Odinga said the lives of people who live downstream including Sudan and Egypt will be affected if the forest is left to die.

The task force comprises of senior officials from relevant government ministries, representatives of stakeholder groups and expert organisations.

 

 

 

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