Over 1,950 households have fully moved out of Maasai Mau forest following a 60-day eviction notice given to the settlers, Narok County Commissioner (CC), Samuel Kimiti has disclosed.
Kimiti said a further 1,413 house-holds have partially moved out of the forest which means they left a few belongings behind but the government is ready to assist them get their belongings left behind.
What this means is that almost all the 3,366 households targeted in the second phase of Mau evictions have moved out with only 10 days remaining to the end of the eviction notice.
“By partially moving he means that some of them have left their houses and other belongings behind,” Kimiti said.
He was on Sunday speaking at Narosoora in Maji Moto ward in Narok South sub-county during this year`s Mashujaa Day celebrations.
“I urge those people still in the Mau to move out peacefully and as the government we are willing to provide transportation to any house hold in need of a truck,” he added.
According to the administrator, there were 15 schools inside the Mau area but currently only five schools are operational but do not have candidates for the oncoming national exams and will be closed once this school session ends.
Kimiti further said that 11 title deeds and 77 sales agreement have already been surrendered by the evictees and called upon others to surrender their titles as they are not legal and give information on who sold land to them the land so that the due process of the law may be followed.
“From next week surveyors will be there to look at the boundaries of the forest and consequently tree planting will commence in areas where people have moved out,” he said.
Also present was Narok County Senator Ledama Ole-kina who assured the people that he will not rest until illegal settlers in the Mau forest leaves adding that it’s a major water tower not only in Kenya but also in the region.
The impending second phase of the water towers restoration is estimated to affect over 3,300 households, including about 8,000 school going children where 15 schools will be closed down but the department of education in Narok has confirmed that there are no candidates in the schools.
During the first phase of the eviction in July last year, about 7,700 people were evicted from the forest land which saw over 12,000 acres of the forest reclaimed.
It was centered in Reiya group ranch while the second phase has Nkoben, Ilmotiok and Ololunga on the radar.
The others are Enokishomi, Enoosokon, Nkaroni and Sisian.The entire Maasai Mau restoration targets over 14,000 hectares.Maasai Mau is one of the 22 blocks of the Mau complex.
The Mau is the largest water tower in the country supporting millions of human life and wildlife in Kenya and beyond.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku/Kevin Bogita