Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde has reiterated the government’s commitment to preserve the mega water catchment area- Maasai Mara forest.
Masinde said the county security team will fly around the forest on Wednesday October 12, 2022 to inspect the forest and confirm that the forest is safe from any human activities.
“We will continue protecting the forest from any human encroachment because it is a major water catchment area in Africa. No one should enter the forestland without permission from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS),” he said.
The CC underscored the need to protect the forest saying it is a mega water catchment area for River Mara that flows across the Mara Ecosystem.
“The Maasai community living in Narok County mainly depends on tourism to earn a living. If we destroy the Mau Forest, the river Mara will dry up and severely affect the wildlife at the Maasai Mara Game reserve,” he said.
The CC spoke to journalists at his office where he said the government has recruited 20 young people from the community and employed them as scouts so that they can assist in protecting the forest.
He said the forest scouts will also have a responsibility of educating the residents about the importance of conserving the forest so that the community can embrace the forest.
At the same time, he called on residents who wish to cut grass in the forest for their cows to do so with the permission of the KFS.
In the year 2020-2021, the government through Kenya Water Towers Authority erected a 30-kilometer fence around the forest to ward off residents from encroaching the forestland.
Maasai Mau, is one of the 22 blocs forming the Mau Forest Complex which had been illegally encroached 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 forestland.
By Ann Salaton