, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – The process to resettle Mau forest evictees began on Wednesday with the opening of tenders for people willing to sell their farms.
This was done at the Ministry of Lands where more than 10 applications were opened.
Lands Minister James Orengo said evaluation of the tenders would be done by a technical committee at a later date.
“Right now the funds that we have are only in relation to Embobut, Mau and Mt Elgon. We are making further requests for other areas where we think the cases deserve. A billion shillings is not a lot of money but to my understanding there could be additional funds once we have spent what we have,” Orengo said.
Last month, the Ministry of Lands placed an advert in the local dailies for the purchase of arable land for resettlement of the families evicted from their farms in Mau Forest Complex two years ago.
The advert called on individuals with more than 30 acres of arable land in Kericho, Nakuru and Bomet counties willing to sell it to the government to apply not later than October 12.
This came as Prime Minister Raila Odinga picked former President Moi’s son Gideon to head an adhoc committee on the resettlement, a move that was largely seen as political.
Orengo said that over 1,000 hectares of land that had been purchased in Kipkabus for resettlement of the post 2007 election violence IDP’s would be used to resettle evictees of Embobut.
“I think we are making some good progress in this. Let’s keep politics out of it. The human factor is equally important. We have to protect the environment and again we have to make sure those who are affected are resettled,” he insisted.
Evictions from the Mau forest were done two years ago in a bid to reclaim the water tower that was degenerating at a high rate.