News 2008


Get out of Mau Forest or we evict you, squatters told


16. July 2008

By Isaac Ongiri

All squatters in Mau forest must move out by October 30 or be evicted.

This was decided during a day-long consultation between Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 10 Cabinet ministers, 15 MPs and 200 representatives of various groups from the Mau Complex at the KICC.

Raila said the Government would re-demarcate the boundaries of the over 400,000-acre forest and fence it to stop further degradation.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Environment Minister John Michuki at the KICC on Tuesday. Photo: Njue Murimi/Standard

“We shall re-demarcate the forest boundaries, fence off the forest and also put in place effective long-term management plan to save the Mau,” said Raila.

He, however, said a special task force comprising 10 associate ministries has been put in place to handle Mau Forest issues.

The consultative forum, however, resolved that settlers with genuine title deeds would be offered alternative settlements or adequate compensation in the process.

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, Cabinet ministers Mr John Michuki, Dr Noah Wekesa, Mr William Ruto, Mr William ole Ntimama, Dr Naomi Shaaban, Mr James Orengo, Mr Kiraitu Murungi and Mr Fred Gumo were present at the consultative forum.

Raila said that the Government was keen on the restoration of the Mau Complex Forest, saying that the ongoing encroachment was a threat to livelihoods in the region.

He said that Mara River, Lake Victoria, Lake Nakuru and River Nile were key dependants on the forest for survival.

The Prime Minister said it was important for the Government to take appropriate action to handle the situation, which environmentalists have warned could degenerate into a disaster for the dependant nations.

He announced that this time the evictions would be given a human face to ensure the fundamental rights of the affected individuals are not violated.

But the move drew immediate criticism from Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto who rejected the proposals moments after Wildlife PS Kombo Mwero announced the resolutions