, Marakwet, Kenya, May 2 – The Government will not use force to evict families, which have invaded Mau forest among other water catchment areas in the country, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
The Deputy President said the government will instead involve leaders from the affected areas before decisions are made on any action to be taken against those who have invaded the Mau forest.
“Leaders should come up with a consensus on the plan of action as far as those who have invaded forests are concerned but use of force should not be applied,” he said.
He said the government and leaders in Mau were working together to come up with a formula of solving the problem once and for all as opposed to use of force.
“Leaders are working together with relevant authorities to come up with a consensus on how to solve the problem and nobody will be evicted by use of force,” he said.
Speaking at Kakaya grounds in Embobut forest, Elgeyo/Marakwet County on Saturday during a tour of the Chesoi- Tirap-Sambalat road, Ruto said burning of houses belonging to those who have invaded forests was not a lasting solution to the fight against forest destruction.
The Deputy President was accompanied by Senator Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo/Marakwet), MPs William Kisang (Marakwet West) and Bowen Kangogo (Marakwet East) and deputy governor Daniel Lamaon
He has called for concerted efforts in the fight against wanton destruction of forests in the country to avert desertification.
The Deputy President commended residents in Marakwet East for heeding the Government’s call to voluntarily move out of Embobut forest noting that there was enough water for both domestic and irrigation following conservation efforts of the water catchment area.
He said the government would compensate those families which moved out of the forest and who missed the first phase of the compensation.
“I am happy that those who had invaded Embobut forest have since voluntarily moved out and the conservation efforts are bearing fruits. We will compensate those families which missed the recent compensation exercise,” he said.