The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Marakwet Leaders' Plea On Squatters

Councillors in Elgeiyo Marakwet have urged the government to resettle more than 500 squatters living in forests in the county. Led by Keu Ward civic leader Amos Kipsat, they said restoration of the forests will only be successful if the families are given alternative settlement. "I call upon the government to resettle them elsewhere so that the we can be able to conserve the forest well," said Chesum.

He said the families living on the Elgeiyo Escarpment forest area of Kapkore, Kaptomoto and Orgut had been there since independence and deserved to be recognised by the government. Kamariny DO 1 Jack Musau said they have forwarded the names of the families to the relevant authorities.

Speaking from his Iten office on phone, Musau said there was little his office to do since it could not evict the residents from the forest. "We are not ready to create other IDPs in our County," he said, "we already have some in Embobut and we better resettle them first." Contacted for comment, Keiyo District Forest Officer Dennis Kerongo said he did not know that there were squatters in Elgeiyo forest.

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