Archive 1999

 

WILD_ROAR / issue 28.05.99

PLEASE POST WIDELY AND SUPPORT!

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To: Survival Rapid Response Network
To: ALL NOBLE PEOPLE SUPPORTING SUPPORTING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS


The Ogiek people have lived from time immemorial in the forests of the Mau escarpment, Kenya. By tradition, they are a hunter-gatherer people, especially famed as harvesters of honey, which they
consume themselves and exchange with their neighbours.

Tinet Forest is part of their territory, which they occupied until it was gazetted as a government forest by the colonial government in 1961. Since then they have lived there as squatters subject to constant harassment.

However in 1991 the Kenyan government legally allocated five acres of the forest per family to 5,000 + members of the Ogiek community.  

Confident that their rights had been recognised at last, they began farming and constructing schools, while still using the forest and gathering honey.

But powerful interests wish to occupy the forest , which is being used among other things for timber.

Faced with renewed harassment and threats of eviction, the Ogiek community went to law against the authorities. On May 13 1999, the Nakuru District Commissioner tried to preempt the case by giving the  Ogiek community 14 days notice to leave the forest, threatening to use force if they resist.

Ogiek community leaders met and vowed never to leave Tinet Forest until the Government allocates them land. They obtained an order of injunction from the Kenyan High Court to restrain the local government from evicting the people until their case is heard on 4 June.

Please send faxes or write to:

Mr. John Litunda , District Commissioner, Nakuru District 
PO Box 81, NAKURU Kenya
or 
c/o Office of the Attorney General, Fax: 00254 2 211082 

and

The Chief Conservator of Forests 
Forest Department 
PO Box 30513 
NAIROBI, KENYA 
Fax: 00254 2 246287 


and

KENYA FOREST WORKING GROUP (KFWG)
c/o EAST AFRICAN WILDLIFE SOCIETY
P.O.Box 20110
Nairobi / Kenya
e-mail: eawls@form-net.com 

and copy all your support to:

WILDNET
c/o ECOTERRA Intl.
Nairobi Node
e-mail: wildnet@ecoterra.net 


Make the following points:

The land is the traditional homeland of the Ogiek.
They have been the occupiers of the forest and practical conservationists with proven track record since time immemorial.

In post-colonial Kenya land was legally allocated to the Ogiek community

Eviction will deprive them of their livelihood, thusinfringing theirright to life.

The Ogiek are the indigenous guardians of these forest sand must be respected in that capacity as well as in their will to continue or restitute their traditional life, if the forests of Kenya shall not further decline and many more Kenyans suffer from the loss of the forests and further devastation of the natural resource base.

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Virginia Luling
Africa Campaigns Officer
SURVIVAL
11-15 Emerald Street
LONDON WC1N 3QL.
Phone: 0171 242 1441
Fax: 0171 242 1771
Email: survival@gn.apc.org
Website: www.survival.org.uk

Survival is a worldwide organisation supporting tribal and indigenous peoples. It stands for their right to decide their own future and helps them protect their lives, lands and human rights.
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