15,000 to leave Maasai Mau after survey

Friday May 14 2010

By SATURDAY NATION Correspondent

A survey of the Maasai Mau block of the Mau Forest ended on Friday, paving way for the eviction of 15,000 people.

The week-long exercise, launched last Friday by Mau restoration interim coordinating secretariat chairman Noor Hassan Noor, involved more than 150 enumerators, village headmen and chiefs.

“The profiling, which included developments on the farms, will be used in calculating compensation,” Mr Noor said.

He said he had presented a budget to the government for this and it would be included in the next financial year’s estimates next month.

Mr Noor revealed that the fourth phase of the Mau evictions, which will target 61, 000 hectares, begins this month.

He said the survey of Maasai Mau alone was funded by the Narok County Council and Usaid to the tune of Sh8 million.

“The Prime Minister’s office used Sh5 million monthly to guard the country’s biggest water tower. This is for routine operations of the Joint Enforcement Team,” he added.

Slow pace

The team comprises officers from the regular and AP units, Kenya Forest Service, General Service Unit and Narok County Council.

Responding to questions on the perceived slow pace of the restoration, Mr Noor said 24,000 families could not be moved at once without causing unmitigated disaster.

“The number of people is much higher as each family could comprise as much as eight members.”