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Govt commended for protecting forest land

Some legislators in Narok County have praised the recent move by the government to evict people from the Maasai Mau and Enosupukia forests that had been greatly encroached upon.

Narok County Women Representative Rebecca Tonkei and Narok East Member of Parliament Ken Aramat said the recent evictions at the forest land were aimed at reclaiming thousands of hectares that had been illegally encroached.

The two legislators who spoke during a tree planting event at Enosupukia Forest said no person, regardless of their status in society, should be allowed in the forest land.

“I thank the current government for the recent evictions at the Maasai Mau Forest and Enosupukia forests, as a large portion of forest land has been recovered,” said MP Aramat.

Aramat asked those evicted from the forest land to look for alternative homes, saying no one is so special to live in the forest land.

His sentiments were echoed by Mrs. Tonkei, who asked both the county and national government to guard the forest land so that no single person could invade.

However, she said those living near the forest cutline but not inside the forest would not be affected as they had title deeds for their land.

Recently, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Abdi Hassan said the government had evicted over 3, 000 families from the Maasai Mau Forest in an ongoing eviction exercise.

He reported that 23, 000 hectares had been encroached upon, promising to recover all the forest land that had been illegally invaded.

Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde has committed to protecting all the forests in the county, namely Loita, Enosupukia, and Mau Forest, against any form of encroachment.

“We have put security personnel in place to guard all these forests because they are a source of the water we use in the county. I urge all residents to join hands and plant trees in their homesteads to increase the forest cover,” he said today at his office.

The Maasai Mau Forest is one of the 22 blocks of the Mau Forest. It is in Narok South and North Sub-Counties and is approximately 46, 000 hectares. The Loita forest is in Narok South Sub County and is approximately 33, 000 hectares, while the Enosupukia forest is 10, 000 hectares and situated in Narok East Sub County.

By Ann Salaton

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