Archive 2001

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Another ultimatum
(December 27, 2001) The government has given communities residing in Mau Forest an order to leave before January 15.

Top lawyers' body defends Ogiek
(December 18, 2001) The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has accused a senior government official of "waging a smear campaign" against lawyers who represent the Ogiek community.

Kenya: Government destroys the Ogiek's forest                                                                               (December , 2001) The Ogiek people of Kenya are resisting a government that seems determined to destroy their forest home. "Settlement of other people in our midst would mean that the Ogiek culture would cease. We will be wiped out." Joseph Towett, Chairman, Ogiek Welfare Council.

Trees of Peace: How Excisions - Will Destroy Our Cultural 'Memory'                                                 (December 17, 2001) It is sad that 10 per cent our of forests are to be destroyed. When we destroy our forests, we are in the process also destroying our social and spiritual heritage.

Ogiek position on new constitution
(December 14, 2001) Ogiek representatives express hope that Kenya's new constitution protect the rights of indigenous groups, who currently lack political power.

Ogiek case set for February 21
(December 11, 2001) A case in which the Ogiek community has sued the government over its intention to degazette parts of the expansive Mau Forest will now be heard on February 21 next year, the Ogiek Welfare Council confirmed today.

Kenyan government set to destroy honey-hunting tribe
(December 5, 2001) Despite threats from local authorities, this week the Ogiek have announced they will take to court the government officials responsible for trying to develop protected forest areas. [Survival International]

CAMPAIGN: INDIGINOUS RIGHTS - OGIEK & GWITCH                                                                   (November 23, 2001) When big business or powerful national governments seek to make use of scarce natural resources, it is often indigenous people who have most to loose. Although indigenous lifestyles are often more environmentally sustainable than those of many so-called 'civilised' people, their lack of access to high-tech communication puts them at considerable disadvantage in any propoganda war.

Ogieks win battle for forest ?                                                                                                          (November 22, 2001) The recent degazettement of Mau West forest land was a dream come true for a section of the Ogieks. At least 3,000 Ogieks who were issued with allotment letters two years ago are set to benefit from the degazzetment.

Environmentalists plea Kenya to postpone forest privatisation                                                            (November 19, 2001) afrol News: Citing the risk of unprecedented negative environmental and human impacts from the "degazettment" of nearly 170,000 acres of public forests, Kenyan environmentalist groups urged the government to postpone its plans until thorough environmental impact assessments can be conducted.

Kenya 'in Grave Danger' over Forest Excisions                                                                                 (November 5, 2001) KENYA'S SUPPLY of power, water, timber and timber products is under serious threat if the government goes ahead with its plan to excise over 170,000 acres from 14 forests – a tenth of the entire forest cover in the country.

KENYA GOVERNMENT GIVES AWAY 5% OF ITS FORESTS                                                         (November 2, 2001) Press Release from the Kenya Forests Working Group Nairobi, Kenya - The Government of Kenya has through the official Kenya Gazette notice that is dated October 19th excised 170,000 acres of forests inspite of the low forest cover of less than 3% of Kenya’s total land area and objections raised by environmentalists, the general public and pending court cases instituted against the excisions.

State in big rush to clear forests                                                                                                     (November 01, 2001)The Government is in a big rush to clear huge sections of forest in the Rift Valley for what it calls resettling of squatters and harvesting of mature trees.

Government Forest Plan Riles Native Kenyans                                                                                 (October 31, 2001) The government of President Daniel arap Moi announced this week that it will reclassify the land, despite a court case brought by the Ogiek community scheduled for a hearing November 21.Professor Wangari Maathai, an environmentalist working with Kenya's Greenbelt Movement, called the government agencies involved with the land deal "greedy and corrupt."

New battle over Ogiek land
(October 29, 2001) The Kenyan government has announced that it will go ahead and collect more than 170,000 acres of public forest for private use, including areas inhabited by the Ogiek.

KFWG: Details on forest areas degazetted on 19.10.01 ( Open as fullsite ! )

Renewed threat on Ogiek officials
(October 16, 2001) The Ogiek Welfare Council expressed fear that their lives are in danger after they refused to withdraw the pending cases and that they could be "eliminated."

KENYA: Forests Battle Lost, But War Goes On                                                                               (October 11, 2001) When he learnt that an Eldoret court had last week dismissed an attempt to block the Government from delisting 167,000 hectares of the remaining forests, a colleague asked why lawyer Nixon Wafula had taken it upon himself to challenge the Government.

Court to examine Ogiek petition on November 21
(October 8, 2001) After the hearing of the much-awaited Ogiek land case in Nairobi flopped last week, a Kenyan court will officially peruse the Ogiek petition and may set a hearing date on November 21.

Carve up the forest, court rules
(October 5, 2001) A Kenyan High Court has approved the carving up of 167,000 acres of forestland, a decision that could see the ultimate loss of the Ogiek cultural land.

Kenyan government summons Ogiek elders to drop case
(October 3, 2001) A day before the Ogiek were to appear in a Kenyan court, the provincial commissioner of the Rift Valley province, Peter Raburu, summoned elders from the community and demanded that they withdraw the case.

The Heritage Factor in the Constitution                                                                                            By Sultan H. Somjee, Ethnographer and Consultant,Constitution of Kenya Review Commission - 12-09-2001 - Background - After almost forty years of independence to talk about promotion of African, or for that matter Kenyan Culture, is a cliché. A cliche that the nationalist discourse used over and over again to gain popularity and power that created a class of politicians who became ultimately masters of the double discourse of theory and practice of African culture.

Local communities should also benefit from wildlife                                                                           (September 8, 2001) John Mbaria's article titled "Just who owns wildlife in Kenya?" raised some pertinent issues. He argued that wildlife conservation had offered very little to ordinary people. They were daily exposed to danger from wild animals. He also mentioned that to reintroduce hunting would affect little the neglect of the communities around the parks.

East Africa: Forest peoples seek compensation                                                                               (September 7, 2001) Forest dwellers from seven African countries this week appealed for compensation for livelihoods compromised by government activities, and for vindication of their human rights, AFP news agency reported.

Wangari Mathai fights for Kenya's Forests                                                                                       (Broadcast on Saturday 25/08/01) Summary: In Kenya, where over 30-million people are struggling to cope with drought and poverty, the country?s miniscule forest cover is being rapidly depleted. A fierce campaign to save it is being waged by Africa`s environmentalists, especially the long-running Green Belt Movement in Kenya.

Kenyan Environmentalist Wants Lenders to Insist on Conservation                                                    (August 13, 2001) -ENS- Already under close donor scrutiny, the government of Kenya may have more trouble ahead if lenders adopt an environmental group's proposal that commitments to conservation be part of the conditions for any loan.

Don't say Majimbo, say Federalism                                                                                                 (August 11, 2001) A strange thing about political statements is that they are rarely meant to be taken literally. They are usually a form of shorthand, with a much deeper meaning. 

Ogiek given a month to quit forest                                                                                                   (August 1, 2001) In the latest move in the saga of the the Ogiek honey-hunters (see Kenyan honey-hunters' land to be carved up?) the Kenya government has given all the occupants of the Rift valley forests in Kenya one month to get out.

In Defence of a Minority Tribe Fighting for Survival                                                                             A book review, African Church Information Service, 3 July 2001- Nairobi - Title: The Ogiek - The on-Going Destruction of a Minority Tribe in Kenya; Author: John Kamau - Publisher: Rights News and Features Service (Publishing Division), 2001 - Volume: 74 pp

Ogiek case to begin October 4
(July 30, 2001) The case in which the Ogiek community in Kenya has taken the government to court over the fate of their Mau Forest land will begin on October 4.

Ban could lead to illegal logging                                                                                                      (July 26, 2001) Malindi timber and furniture dealers may be forced out of business by a shortage of timber. Some dealers are planning to import it from abroad and Central Africa while others are resorting to illegal harvesting of old mango and neem (mwarubaine) trees.

Ogiek given one month to leave forest
(July 9, 2001) All communities residing in state forests in the Rift Valley province in Kenya — among them the Ogiek indigenous community — have been given one month to vacate the forestland or face eviction.

Plea over electoral borders                                                                                                             (June 28, 2001) The Electoral Commission has been asked to review electoral boundaries in Nakuru to achieve fair representation. Sparsely populated wards should be merged and densely populated ones divided to ensure effective representation, the commission was told.

Ogiek case to be mentioned in court on July 3
(June 22, 2001) The case in which the Ogiek tribe of Kenya wants the government stopped from degazetting part of their Mau Forest land will be mentioned on July 3.

Forest of controversy grows in Kenya                                                                                              (May 23, 2001) A plan to allow settlement in protected woodlands draws allegations of political corruption. In its annual edition chronicling corruption, the popular Kenyan daily "The Standard" accuses the government this year of the usual misdeeds - from nepotism to blackmail to theft.

Government official says land will not be excised
(May 23, 2001) The Kenyan government has announced that it will not excise any forestland until all the cases filed in court are heard and determined.

Seek new hearing date, Ogiek lawyer told
(May 18, 2001) The case of the Ogiek failed to take off in a Nairobi court once again yesterday and was only mentioned.

Ogiek case postponed, ruling party youths stone environmentalists
(May 2, 2001) The scheduled April 30 case for the Ogiek community failed to start at the Kenyan High Court after lawyers sought more time.

Huge support for forest motion
(April 26, 2001) The Kenyan parliament unanimously passed a motion urging the government to prepare "within six months" a master plan on forest rehabilitation, protection of rivers, and vegetation.

Forest debate in Kenya parliament
(April 19, 2001) A motion has been filed in Kenya's parliament urging the government to prepare "within six months" a master plan on forest rehabilitation, protection of rivers, and vegetation.

Ogiek get court date
(April 9, 2001) The case in which the Ogiek Community wants the High Court to stop the intended excision of the East Mau forest land will be heard in Nairobi on April 30.

Who favours and who destroys forest biodiversity?                                                                            WRM - BULLETIN 44 - MARCH 2001 - Governments should be directly responsible for the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of their respective countries and people. Nevertheless, what frequently happens in the South is that the authorities act in collusion with powerful internal and external interests, and to the detriment of the country's biodiversity, and thus against the welfare of the population they are supposed to protect. This is what is going on in Kenya.

The Kenyan regime's destructive policies                                                                                         (March 29, 2001) Clearing the deck, and the forest - "IN AFRICA we gonna get it on, cause we don't get along," said Muhammad Ali, off to a rumble in the jungle with George Foreman back in 1974. Daniel arap Moi and Richard Leakey have been boxing for years. But the president won the latest round this week when he sacked his old adversary from his post as head of the civil service, together with most of his team. Mr Leakey's brief for the past 20 months has been to streamline the service and restructure the economy.

Ogiek form national committee
(March 22, 2001) In a bid to seek a united front, the Ogiek in Kenya have formed a seven member Ogiek National Steering Committee that will be in charge of all Ogiek affairs.

Opposition Grows to Kenya's Forest Plan (March 20, 2001) Kenya plans to clear more than ten percent of its forests, some 67,000 hectares, to settle landless squatters. Many of the forests to be stripped of their protected status are critical water catchment forests, and others are home to indigenous peoples such as the Ogiek that oppose the move.

Ogiek win first round
(March 19, 2001) The Ogiek community registered their first victory after the High Court in Nairobi on March 16 stopped Minister for Environment Francis Nyenze from removing their Eastern Mau Forest from environmental protection.

ALERT: AGAIN FOREST DEFENDER ARRESTED IN KENYA !                                                        Chairman of Sagana Wildlife Protection Self Help Group, Mr Gerald Ngatia, arrested ! PLEASE LAUNCH INTERNATIONAL PROTEST AND DEMAND IMMEDIATE RELEASE ! Several High Court Rulings stopped forest excision - but state executive ignores order ! To protect 30.000 acres of their ancestral Eastern Mau Forest members of the Ogiek community were granted leave to apply for orders of judical writ of command to squash the Minister's Gazette Notice. The attempt to excise Eastern Mau Forests was seen by the judge in particular as a blatant violation of a High Court order already in force.

Forest carve-up unites Kenya                                                                                                         (March 17, 2001) Environmentalists have won a stay of execution against Nairobi's plan to give away 10% of its remaining forests.

Confusion as Kenyan High Court stops forest excision
(March 15, 2001) A Kenyan High Court today stopped the intended excision of Kenya forests but Minister for Environment Francis Nyenze announced that the excision would go ahead as planned.

Still adamant as D-Day draws near for Kenyan forests
(March 13, 2001) Kenyan Environment Minister Francis Nyenze says that the organizations involved in the campaign to save the country's forests are "playing with the psychology of Kenyans."

Forest Excision: Water, Farms, Power at Risk                                                                                 (March 12, 2001) BESIDES THE serious environmental damage that the intended excision of 67,884 hectares of the remaining forest cover in Kenya will cause, the very notion of hiving off these forests to squatters shows glaring gap between environmental policy and practice.

The Forests of the Earth send out ONE call: Let us BE !!!                                                                 (March 9, 2001) It seems that everywhere the Peoples of the Forests on Earth start realizing that enough is enough. - The forwarded message concerning the Dayak people, joins the call of the Ogiek of Kenya, the tribal voices from the Ama- zonian and of the central African Forest peoples, like the BaTwa and BaAka

Environmentalist now free, charges dropped
(March 9, 2001) Amidst pressure from activists, the government has withdrawn charges of "incitement" and "illegal assembly" that faced leading African environmental activist Prof. Wangari Maathai.

Environmental activist charged in court
(March 8, 2001) Kenya's leading environmental activist, Prof. Wangari Maathai, who was arrested last evening as she collected petitions to oppose the intended excision of some of Kenya's forests, was arraigned in court today.

Kenyan government sets up committee to study petitions
(March 7, 2001) The Kenyan government set up an inter-ministerial committee to study the petitions opposing the intended destruction of 167,000 acres of forestland, 70 percent of which is in the Mau Forest, Lands and Settlement Minister Joseph Nyaga announced.

Kenyan Parliament set to open amid forest uproar
(March 5, 2001) When Kenya's parliament opens on March 20, the top of the agenda will be the government's bid to excise 10 per cent of Kenya's forestland, of which 70 per cent is the Mau Forest, the Ogiek ancestral land.

Parliament to debate forest issue
(March 2, 2001) As the Kenya forest saga continues, Democratic Party of Kenya, the official opposition in parliament, has formally filed a notice of motion that seeks to compel the government to protect forests and rivers.

Uproar as government eats into Kenya's natural forests
(February 28, 2001) The Kenyan government is heading for a major confrontation with the country's environmentalists, conservationists and opposition politicians over the environment minister's decision to excise part of natural forests in the Rift Valley and Central province ostensibly to settle landless people. [Panafrican News Agency]

U.N. protests loss of Kenyan forests
(February 28, 2001) The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said it was concerned about the risk of increasing deforestation in Kenya after the government announced its intention to clear forest land for settlement. [Reuters]

Parliament summons two ministers
(February 22, 2001) The Kenyan Parliamentary Committee on Environment (PCE) summoned Minister for Environment Francis Nyenze and his lands counterpart, Joseph Nyaga, to give a commitment that they will not excise any Kenyan forest.

Ogiek's notice of objection to planned degazettement
(February 20, 2001) In this statement, lawyers for the Ogiek argue that by moving to degazette the Mau Forest, the Kenyan government is violating a High Court order.

Who will save our natural heritage ?                                                                                                (February 17, 2001) - THE announcement that the Government has decided to excise more than 167,000 acres of forest land in various parts of the country is extremely shocking and a cause for grave worry.

Government degazettes Mau Forest, Ogiek move to court
(February 17, 2001) The Kenyan government has issued a 28-day notice in its bid to degazette 147,000 acres of Mau Forest, the home of Ogiek indigenous community.

Ogiek protest intended excision of Mau Forest
(February 15, 2001) In this statement, the Ogiek Welfare Council protests the upcoming degazettement of Mau Forest. [Ogiek Welfare Council]

Minister appeals to the president
(February 15, 2001) Kenyan cabinet minister William ole Ntimama has repeated his claim that powerful individuals within the government want to grab land and appealed to President Moi to intervene.

Ogiek to go to court
(February 8, 2001) The Ogiek Welfare Council (OWC) protested the continued presence of surveyors on their land and denounced the continued settlement of outsiders on their ancestral land.

Maasai want to see Kenyan president
(February 6, 2001) The Mau Forest saga took a new twist today when some 500 people from Olpusimoru location in Narok District demanded an immediate audience with Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi to address the issue.

Two hundred Ogiek evicted from Narok                                                                                            (February 6, 2001) Six elders detained in NAROK / KENYA - Two hundred squatters from the Ogiek community have been forcibly evicted from Esinoni group ranch in Ololulung'a division of Narok district, allegedly on orders from the area District Officer.

200 Ogiek kicked out of farm, six elders arrested, says paper
(February 6, 2001) Some 200 members of the Ogiek community living in Narok District, in southern Kenya, have been evicted from Esinoni group ranch and six elders arrested, a local daily has reported.

Senior cabinet minister protests destruction of Mau Forest
(February 5, 2001) A senior cabinet minister protested the continued destruction of Mau Forest and demanded the revocation of all illegal allocations.

War declared on us, says Ogiek
(January 26, 2001) The Ogiek Welfare Council today accused the government of "declaring war" on the Kenyan indigenous group and announced that there will be a community prayer meeting on February 24, 2001 at Marioshoni, East Mau Forest.

Police move in, Ogiek youth charged with capital offense
(January 25, 2001) Armed police have moved into the Ogiek ancestral land to protect surveyors that are busy demarcating it, despite a court order. Meanwhile, the Ogiek youth arrested last week after the community seized survey equipment has been charged with a capital offense.

Demarcating land violates spirit if not letter of court order
(January 25, 2001) Strictly speaking, the Kenyan government has not violated a High Court order by beginning to demarcate land in the East Mau Forest, but they are clearly violating the spirit of the order. [Digital Freedom Network]

Ogiek seize survey equipment, youth detained
(January 22, 2001) Despite a denial by the Kenyan government that its surveyors had not invaded the controversial Ogiek land to demarcate it, Ogiek youths last week seized survey equipment in the East Mau forest. The equipment was being used to demarcate East Mau Forest despite a court order.

Kenyan opposition party defends Ogiek
(January 18, 2001) The official opposition party in Kenya, Democratic Party, threw its weight behind the Ogiek yesterday and urged the government to respect their rights as an indigenous community.

"Insincere" remark
(January 17, 2001) The Ogiek Welfare Council today dismissed as "insincere" a government statement denying that surveyors have invaded controversial Ogiek land.

Demarcation and allocation of East Mau Forest has begun
(January 12, 2001) In this statement, the Ogiek Welfare Council accuses the Kenyan government of violating a High Court order by allowing surveyors to demarcate and allocate land in East Mau Forest. [Ogiek Welfare Council]

OGIEK - Kenya  Government In Serious Violation Of Court Order                                                       (January 12, 2001) ALERT - Please send letters, faxes, phone-calls of protest to your nearest Kenya-Embassy! Talk to your travel agent - Kenya might become a no-go zone for concerned and concious travellers.

Ogiek protest presence of government surveyors in East Mau Forest
(January 12, 2001) In this statement, the Ogiek Welfare Council demands that the Kenyan government explain why government land surveyors continue to demarcate land in the East Mau Forest despite the Ogiek's filing of contempt charges against the government. [Ogiek Welfare Council, Rights Features Service]

OGIEK struggle - UPDATE                                                                                                             (January 9, 2001) Though international campaigns and court injunctions stopped again and again the governmental eviction orders against the Ogiek, one of the last traditional people with hunter-gatherer culture in Kenya, and an appeal to the highest Kenyan Court against what has been termed the "Green Smokescreen Ruling" was granted, the struggle of the Ogiek to be just left in peace within their ancestral forest home, is far from over.

Rights lawyer criticizes Kenyan president for "commissioning" forest destruction
(January 8, 2001) Kenyan human rights lawyer Mirugi Kariuki has criticized President Daniel arap Moi of "commissioning the destruction of Mau Forest," a local daily reported today.

Coalition launches online campaign for Kenyan indigenous people
(January 3, 2001) A international coalition of human rights and environmental organizations announced the launch today of an online campaign to urge the Kenyan government to protect the Ogiek. [DFN press release]

Ogiek cultural festival cancelled again
(January 3, 2001) A much-publicized cultural festival for Kenya's Ogiek indigenous people failed to take off on New Year's Eve after police officers intimidated people from attending.


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