Twenty seven families who claim to have been left out during compensation for those evicted from Embobut forest in Marakwet East sub-county are calling on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate how the monies were paid out.
One of the evictees, Ishmael Chebet said their names were struck out from the original list and replaced with people related to local leaders and senior government officials in the county who were in charge of the process.
The evictees who said they were living in Sinen and Litii glades said they were surprised to find names of non locals from as far as Eastern, Nyanza and Central regions in the list of beneficiaries.
“We are therefore calling on the DCI to investigate the compensation process and bring to book anyone found to have illegally benefited from the fund,” Chebet said.
Addressing the press in Chesoi, the residents said since they were evicted five years ago, they have continued to live in caves deep inside the forest after their pleas to the Kenya Forest Service to allow them continue living in glades as they pursue their compensation were turned down.
“We have continued to suffer as people who were never evicted took our money leaving us destitute,” said Johnstone Komen.
They said unless the government addresses the issues and compensates them, then they will continue to live in the forest as they had nowhere else to go.
“This means that people will continue carrying out human activities in the forest thus derailing conservation efforts,” he said.
According to the area governor, Alex Tolgos, the eviction had seen water flowing from the forest to the Kerio Valley increase.
The forest forms part of the Cherang’any water tower hence the importance to have it intact.
By Alice Wanjiru