Police in Narok have arrested a man who is alleged to have shot and injured a forest ranger in Maasai Mau forest on Friday night.
Narok County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti confirmed the arrest saying more investigations in the matter are ongoing with a view to nabbing more suspects.
The victim (name withheld) and other rangers were patrolling Kipchoge area in Maasai forest Friday night, where there is an impending eviction of illegal settlers, when they were attacked by a group of youths who are resisting the eviction.
Meanwhile, doctors at Narok Referral Hospital have managed to retrieve an arrow lodged in the leg of the forest ranger who was shot while on patrol in Maasai Mau forest.
Medics at the hospital Saturday evening carried out a surgical procedure on the leg of the victim, where they removed the arrow and confirmed that the ranger is in a stable condition.
Illegal settlers in Maasai Mau were given a 60-day notice to leave the forest but there is a group that has been resisting this move, saying they legally own the land they have settled on in the forest.
Over 2,100 persons have however volunatarily moved out of the forest ahead of the expiry of the eviction notice.
The Friday night`s incident came a day after Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya visited the area on Thursday and urged the people to move out of Mau on their own before the 60 day notice expires.
“People in Mau have until the end of the 60 days to leave the Mau after that you will be forced out. We want to plant 10 million trees in Mau beginning in November, “Natembeya said.
The impending second phase of the water towers restoration is estimated to affect close to 4,000 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 2018, 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 eviction attracted political undertones with leaders from the Maa and Kalenjin communities engaging in a bitter exchange. The Maa leaders wanted the evictions to go on, while the Kalenjin leaders want it stopped terming it illegal and inhuman.
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