The National and county governments have distributed food to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living near the Maasai Mau forest in Narok South Sub County.
The over 2000 people living in the camps namely: Ololulunga, Olmegenyo, Tendwet and Saptet camps received 200 bags of maize, 100 bags of rice, 100 cartons of cooking fat, 46 bags of sugar and 100 bags of wheat flour.
The distribution exercise was coupled by a tree planting exercise that was led by Cabinet Secretary in Charge of Energy Davis Chirchir and Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu at Saptet camp.
Governor Ntutu said the food was given as a Christmas token to the vulnerable families who have been living in the camps since 2019 when they were evicted from the forest land.
“I want to assure you that the government is concerned about you. You choose us as your leaders and we want to put things in order so that politics of Maasai Mau Forest that keep repeating after every five years will be a thing of the past,” he said.
Ntutu asked Narok residents to plant trees saying the community has suffered from drought, floods and extreme weather patterns that lead to food insecurity, loss of livelihood and damage infrastructure.
“We are committed to promoting tree planting. We have already started public education campaigns and supporting organizations that plant and care for trees. This is because we want to increase tree cover in the country,” he added.
The Governor revealed that the county is rehabilitating Enoosupukia and the Loita forest in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Kenya Water towers. “Trees are a symbol of our commitment to a better future and generations to come. We must endeavor to protect our environment by all means,” he said.
Maasai Mau is one of the 22 blocks forming the Mau Forest Complex which had been illegally encroached on after ballooning of five adjacent group ranches during land sub-division.
In the year 2019, the government evicted over 35,000 settlers from the forest and managed to reclaim over 40,000 hectares of forest land.
By Ann Salaton