RECLAIMING WATER TOWER

Mau evictions: State postpones closing of schools by 2 months

Regional commissioner Natembeya says institutions in Narok South were built illegally

In Summary

• Phase two of evictions targets more than 10,000 households who have encroached the forest

• Those who want to move out voluntarily are told to do so.

Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya.
Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya.
Image: FILE

The government has extended the deadline for the closing of 15 schools within Maasai Mau forest by 60 days, adding that there will be no forcible evictions.

On Tuesday, Nakuru county commissioner Erastus Mbui said, "There will be no forced eviction as of now but those willing to move voluntarily can do so."

Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya said the extension is to allow students sit their national exams.

He, however, said other "rehabilitation" programmes in the forest will continue.

Last week, Natembeya with nine members of the steering committee said schools would be shut, adding that they were built illegally.

Phase two of the evictions targets more than 10,000 households who have encroached the forest.

Natembeya had said the government expects to complete the task through the 10-man steering committee within 60 days.

After reclaiming 17,000 hectares, the forest is to be protected with an electric fence.

Evictions were to be followed with massive planting of trees to replace the ones destroyed.

Phase one of the evictions that saw 10,000 illegal settlers evicted was centred around Reiya group ranch.

The second phase will cover Nkoben, Ilmotiok and Ololunga. The other areas are Enokishomi, Enoosokon, Nkaroni and Sisian.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen on Monday said President Uhuru Kenyatta is the only person who can issue eviction orders.

Murkomen said in a Twitter post that Environment CS Keraiko Tobiko has no powers to order eviction.