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Relocation of Illegal Squatters from South Western Mau Forest Reserve

Date Published: 16 Nov, 2009
Relocation of Illegal Squatters from South Western Mau Forest Reserve

Part of the degraded Mau Forests Complex

The official relocation of illegal squatters from the South Western Mau Forest Reserve starts on Monday 16 November 2009 under the coordination of the Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner.

This follows the expiry of the 14-day vacation notice issued by the Kenya Forest Service to illegal squatters on gazetted forestland for which no title deeds had been issued. 

In order to ensure a humane implementation of the exercise, the Government has mobilised various Ministries to provide:

  • Security (through the Ministry for Provincial Administration and Internal Security and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife);
  • Transportation for the squatters and their property to be returned to their original homes;
  • Food items, including maize, beans and cooking fat (through the Ministry of State for Special Programmes);
  • Water (through the Ministry of Water and Irrigation);
  • Health (through the Ministry of Health).

In addition, the Ministry of Education carried out a survey of the pupils residing in the forest:

  • There are only three non-registered seasonal primary schools in the forest (Langam, Chesigar and Siratet) comprising a total of 213 pupils.  They are all going up to class 4. The community has employed teachers through the Parents Teachers Association;
  • There are no KCPE/KCSE candidates in the schools in the forests;
  •  School bordering the forest are operating at 75 per cent capacity and have the ability to absorb additional pupils should they be relocated from the forests.


In line with the above findings, it is expected that the relocation will not interfere in any significant manner with the schooling of the pupils residing in the forest.

In consultation with the relevant Ministries, the Interim Coordinating Secretariat has developed a five-phase plan of action for the repossession of forestland.  Phases I and II are currently being implemented (see Table 1). These two phases deal mainly with forestland for which no title deeds have been issued. The other three phases which deal with title deeds and the issues of compensation and resettlements will be implemented from early 2010 onwards. 

Phase II concerns specifically the repossession of approx. 19,000 hectares in South Western Mau Forest Reserve of largely bamboo forest that have been encroached by illegal squatters.  These squatters have no documentation to support their occupation of the forest.  In addition, the area encroached has never been set aside by the Government for settlement.  It is still and remains a protected forest reserve.
 

Each of the relevant Government ministries and agencies has assessed the situation and made the necessary provisions to ensure a humane and orderly implementation of the relocation and restoration of the Mau Forests Complex.  

The Interim Coordination Secretariat  appreciates all Kenyans heeding the call to vacate the South Western Mau Forest Reserve. The ICS has also received an increasing number of title deeds from patriotic Kenyans who have chosen to support the restoration of the Mau Forests Complex.

Forest area / Forest block
Status
Area [Ha]
Occupants (approx. number)
Timeframe
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
After March
Phase I: Forestland excised but unparceled or unoccupied
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Likia Extenstion / Eastern Mau
Excised but vacated
530
None
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
LR 25148 /
Eastern Mau
Excised but not parceled
1,050
Few squatters
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mariashoni / Eastern Mau
Excised but not parceled
2,950
Few Ogiek
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Phase II: Encroachment in gazetted forest reserves (no title deeds issued)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
South Western Mau
Gazetted Forest Reserve
19,000
1,690 families
 
 
 
 
 
 
Phase III: Encroachment in protected forest (title deeds issued)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ol Pusimoru
Gazetted Forest Reserve
2,900
200 families
 
 
 
 
 
 
Maasai Mau
Trust land not adjudicated
14,200
1,322 families
 
 
 
 
 
 
Maasai Mau
Trust land adjudicated beyond the reported Ole Ntutu Commission boundaries
6,200
147 families
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Phase IV: Repossession of critical water catchment and biodiversity hotspots in the 2001 forest excisions
Eastern Mau
Excised and settled
max. 30,800
Settled
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
South Western Mau
Excised and settled
max. 23,000
Settled
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Phase V: Repossession of critical water catchment and biodiversity hotspots in Ol Pusimoru adjudicated sections
Ol Pusimoru
Adjudicated and settled
3,270
Settled
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Table 1: Phases I and II of the plan of action for the repossession of forestland


For further information, please contact:

Chief Coordinator
Interim Coordinating Secretariat,
Cell: 0722 740982
E-Mail: hassannur58@yahoo.com

Provincial Commissioner
Rift Valley Province
Telephone: 051 2210246
E-Mail: provriftvalley@yahoo.com





 

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