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Mau Forest: Cabinet approves relocation of families

Thursday September 5 2019

Maasai Mau evictions

Families moving out of the Maasai Mau Forest in Narok on September 1, 2019 ahead of the looming second round of evictions. The Cabinet on September 5, 2019 approved relocation of families living in the water tower. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANITA CHEPKOECH
By ANITA CHEPKOECH
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The Cabinet has approved relocation of families from the Mau area, Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna said on Thursday.

Speaking during weekly briefings at his office, Mr Oguna also revealed that the government will relocate families living in Mt Kenya and the Aberdare forest saying “there was nothing special about Mau”.

EVICTIONS

This puts to an end the accusations against Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko by politicians opposed to the Mau evictions.

“Eviction of people from the Mau catchment area has to go on to save this country, but this will happen in a humane manner. The right word in actually relocation of families and not eviction,” said Mr Oguna.

“It will uphold the dignity of the people, that's the position of government,” he added.

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Rift Valley leaders led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen had on Tuesday accused Mr Tobiko having vested interests in the eviction of those living in Mau and asked President Kenyatta to state his position on the matter.

FOOD SECURITY

Mr Oguna, who steered clear of politics, urged those who talked of insubordination to appreciate the government processes.

“It’s not the first time evictions are happening, it was done before and due processes are always followed,” he said.

“Mau is the most important of the five critical water towers that feeds our major rivers that help in achieving food security, yet it is greatly endangered. People must leave,” he said.

The government wants all Kenyans occupying forests or any other gazetted land to vacate.