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Kenya

Encroachment in the Mau forest points to blatant impunity

By Kiberenge

Encroachment in the Mau points to blatant impunity, contempt of the law and primitive greed in the plunder of Kenya’s most important water towers.
The rich and well connected used every trick in the book to get themselves a slice of Mau, the largest close canopy forest in East Africa, at a great ecological and economic cost to the country.
Years of Mau destruction has caused an environmental disaster, resulting in reduction in rainfall, the dying up of the rivers and the collapse of agriculture and economic activities down stream.
As the government battles to save the soul of Mau, prominent- well connected individuals, some of whom made millions by selling land to the thousands of peasants who are currently being kicked out of the forest, are enjoying their wealth without worry. More than 9,000 hectares or 22,000 acres of the forest have been destroyed so far.
A task force commissioned by PM Raila Odinga in 2009 mentioned several wealthy individuals who encroached in the Mau. The task force recommended that all the prominent people to be evicted without compensation and all small holders be given alternative land.
We would like to see this wealthy individuals being prosecuted even as the smaller holders are being evicted. The law must be applied without favor.

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