The Star (Nairobi)

26 June 2012

Kenya: Kiptagich Factory Not Target in Mau

THE Interim Coordinating Secretariat has denied media reports that it is targeting Kiptagich Tea Factory in the ongoing restoration of the Mau Forest.

The ICS further denied that information on the factory had been released to the media and warned the public against dragging retired president Daniel Moi's name into issues related to the restoration of the forest. "The Kiptagich tea factory issue has never been addressed by the secretariat at any time. No information on eviction for Kiptagich has been released to the press and Moi should be left to enjoy his blissful retirement," said Hassan Noor Hassan, the ICS chairman.

Hassan told a media briefing in Nairobi yesterday that the secretariat operates on a phased forest recovery approach is currently in phase three of the process. He said phase the recovery of phase four had become a complex issue because it involves more than 24, 000 families spread over to 61,000 hactres of land.

The chairman further clarified that no person with a title deed has been evicted from the Mau since the ICS was established in 2009. He said 3,000 squatters who had settled in the forest illegally left the Mau "on their own volition" and said a task force in the office of the president was working on their resettlement plans. "There is no specific intention to single out any individual for eviction without following the due process," he said, while warning the media from politicising the matter.

Hassan said the ICS was encouraging settlers in the forest to start planting bamboo on a commercial scale as a perfect solution to the status of the settlers and the conservation of the environment. The chairman announced that Mau forest together with all other 18 water towers are being handled professionally by the Kenya Water Towers Agency.

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