News 2008

 

Fencing of Mau Forest to cost Sh40m



August 19 2008

DAILY NATION



In Summary

  • The fencing will start after 1,962 of the people now living in the controversial forest have been settled elsewhere.
  • An inter-ministerial forum formed last month agreed to cancel title deeds of illegally acquired land in the area.

 

The Government is seeking Sh40 million to erect a fence and prevent further destruction of Mau Forest.

Environment minister John Michuki said on Tuesday that the 40 kilometre stretch would run along the original boundary of the forest marked in the 1980s.

The fencing, the minister added, would start after 1,962 of the people now living in the controversial forest have been settled elsewhere.

Others in the area have been given notice to leave since the Government had only identified the 1,962 as bona fide land owners.

“We shall use recycled plastic posts to fence the land. No trees will be felled in that forest,” said Mr Michuki.

The minister also said that representatives of Rhino Charge, which has been fencing the Aberdares Forest, had met ministry officials on Wednesday last week and discussed the new project.

An inter-ministerial forum formed last month agreed, among other measures, to cancel title deeds of illegally acquired land in the area.

The squatters were given until October 30 to vacate the forest land, which will be fenced and boundaries demarcated to ensure a buffer zone is clearly established for law enforcement.

The 400,000 hectare Mau Complex, of which 25 per cent has been destroyed, is crucial for water storage and river flow regulation. It is the largest water catchment area in the country.

At least 12 rivers flow from Mau into Lake Victoria.

Illegal logging, charcoal-making and encroachment are some of the problems that have beset the forest which helps in holding ground water, reducing soil erosion, water purification and micro-climate regulation.

 

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See also here ( http://www.ogiek.org/indepth/cui-bono.htm )

 

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