Environment CS Keriako Tobiko has ruled out any negotiations with politicians over the restoration of Mau Forest. Tobiko says no leader should try politicizing or inciting the public against the restoration of the water tower, which is being reclaimed and is part of the government’s plan to plant 1.8b trees by 2020.
“The Mau forest disputes are political and have nothing to do with the law being flouted. They are not about tribes, he stated.We do not care which tribe you come from or your political affiliation – whether tangatanga or kieleweke. Restoration of the Mau is now or never,” Tobiko said.
The CS said the process will be about restoration of the water tower, something that will ensure survival of future Kenyan generations.The second phase will cover Nkoben, Ilmotiok and Ololunga. Those at Enokishomi, Enoosokon, Nkaroni and Sisian will also be affected.
Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya, who was present, said adequate security had been deployed to ensure the success of the exercise.
“We are ready for the second phase of the restoration. We have deployed sufficient personnel on the ground,” Natembeya said.
An estimated 60,000 people will be affected in Mau Forest restoration Phase Two. They include 8,000 school going children and about 1,000 candidates of the national examinations.
County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti warned residents against charcoal burning.
“Forests belong to the national government and we will not allow a few individuals to benefit at the expense of the entire nation,” Kimiti said.
The CS said the government intends to plant 1.8 billion trees across the country by 2020. It is part of the long-term measures for the rehabilitation of the degraded environment and achievement of at least 10 per cent forest cover.
The campaigns will involve learners in secondary and primary schools, colleges and universities.
The evictions elicited political posturing by the Maa and Kalenjin communities.The Maa leaders want the evictions to go on while the Kalenjins say kicking them out is illegal and inhuman.