Saturday, August 8, 2020
Home > Counties > Narok > Ogiek community cry for recognition during census

Ogiek community cry for recognition during census

Ogiek (Ndorobo) community has asked the government to recognise them during the National Housing and Population Census exercise which kicked off Saturday.
The community which is one of Kenya’s indigenous and minority communities tha dwells in the Mau forest said for a long time, successive governments have failed to recognise them, thus alienating them from the national development agenda.
The sentiments were expressed during a cultural event organised by the Ogiek Peoples Development Program (OPDP) at Maasai Girls` Secondary School Friday and attended by some of Kenya’s political leaders whose ancestries come from the same community.
The community noted that during the 2009 National Census, the Ogiek was not enlisted as one of the communities to be enumerated and instead it was considered among the list of “others” which denied them their identity during the census.
The event was organized to celebrate their culture and sensitize their people about their ways of life.
Speaking during the event OPDP director, Daniel Kobei assured the Ogiek community that the government would involve and recognise them in all spheres of development including the nationwide upcoming census.
He further said that the Ogiek community were tied to the Mau forest and therefore a need for them to continue preserving the forest.
The Ogiek of Kenya have been struggling to protect their unique identity and ways of life since colonial times. A forest dwelling, hunter gatherer community, the Ogiek have historically inhabited the Mau forest, a swathe of land covering 400, 000 hectares.
“Ogiek depended on hunting and honey cultivation for their livelihood and therefore they had the mandate of preserving the Mau forest. The mandate has not changed to date,” Kebenei added.
Present during the cultural event, Nakuru Nominated Senator Victor Prengei who said he was proud to be a Ndorobo, lauded the efforts made by the government in evicting encroachers who destroyed the water tower by cultivating and cutting down the forest.
“It is the responsibility of the government to preserve Mau forest which is dwindling day by day and they should leave that responsibility to the Ogiek as it has always been,” he said.
Also present during the event was Narok South Deputy County Commissioner Felix Kisau who reassured them that the Mau forest concern would be looked into and further asked the Ogiek community to come out in numbers during the nationwide census.
“It is important for this community to come out in numbers so as to continue being recognised even in resources distribution by the government,” he added.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku

Leave a Reply