, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – The Interim Coordinating Secretariat of the Mau complex says it hopes to complete plans for Phase III of the rehabilitation process by December after which it will announce the compensation plans.
Chief Coordinator of the Secretariat Hassan Noor Hassan said the third stage would see 20,000 hectares of Maasai Mau land restored. He told Capital News that the estimated compensation budget would hit Sh17 billion.
“This is what we are now addressing where profiling has been concluded and survey works have been concluded. We are now analysing data using the legal committee from the Attorney General’s chambers and they are going to give us advice on the question of compensation for people in that forest,” he said.
Mr Noor also said that phase IV of the Mau rehabilitation programme which would aim at small scale legal land owners would start by January next year.
“Phase IV will be all that land which was allocated in 2001 to farmers. It involves 61,000 hectares of land; that is a lot of substantial land and therefore this will be addressed at the beginning of the year. However the data collection and analysis for phase IV will start before the end of this year,” he said.
He added that over Sh7.2 billion would be required for the total restoration of the Mau complex and that so far only 23,000 hectares of Mau land had been recovered.
“We require nearly Sh8 billion and there are a number of organisations that have made pledges for the rehabilitation of this water tower. For example we have companies taking up 8,000 hectares of Mau land to re-plant and rehabilitate…of course with our supervision and that of the Kenya Forest Service,” he said.
Mr Noor added that only indigenous tree species would be re-planted to avoid the introduction of new species that could interfere with the delicate forest ecosystem.
He also asked those who would be targeted by the evictions not to despair as they would be compensated if their land was legally acquired, “The evictions and relocation are only a small component of the restoration efforts and we should look at the bigger picture.”
The secretariat head also welcomed the proposal by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta allocating Sh30,000 to every school for buying and planting tree seedlings.
“We should all have small ‘Maus’ in our backyards as part of conserving and preserving our environment,” he said.
Phase I of the Mau rehabilitation efforts targeted land which had been earmarked for settlement but had not been allocated to anyone. It was recovered last year and had about 4000 hectares.
Phase II was aimed at land that had been encroached on by squatters. It had 19,000 hectares and was also recovered last year.