A cross-section of Mau Complex that has been encroached. [File, Standard]

A number of lobby groups are pushing for faster eviction of settlers in Mau Forest Complex amid claims of human rights violations in the exercise.

The Government is carrying out evictions in Narok South and North targeting 60,000 people in a bid to reclaim 17,000 acres of land.
Nine environmental conservation lobby groups convened a presser where they demanded faster eviction of the settlers.
The groups jointly said the encroachment of the forest should never be tolerated and all measures should be used to kick out the squatters.

SEE ALSO :Save Mau, but also save evictees from misery

“The Water tower is the largest in the country and supports millions of livelihoods nationally, regionally and internationally. It must be salvaged at all costs,” said Ms Wambui Muthiga, the chairperson of the Joint Environmental Conversation Groups.
Green Spaces, Penda Panda, The Green Belt Movement, East Africa Wildlife Society, Kenya Forest Working, Heart of Greens, Climate Justice Alliance and International Tree Foundation environmental conservation groups said they were willing to support the Government in tree planting to reclaim the forest once the eviction has been concluded.
The groups supported Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko for leading the operation and urged for continued encouragement on the team for the mission to be accomplished.

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“The CS and his team on the ground need to be supported by all concerned parties. We fully support him and ask those fighting the process to think otherwise,” said Ms Muthiga.
She added the water tower is key for the survival of the regional ecosystem hence the need for its preservation. The group said it is mobilizing resources to support the conservation of other forests in the country.

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The move by lobby groups has added weight to recent all by Kenyans living in the United Kingdom who insisted the forest must be reclaimed.
Their chairperson Kivindyo Ndivo condemned political leaders opposed to the evictions even as they called on the state not to relent.
“We condemn those who are frustrating the eviction exercise and we urge our leaders to think about the future generations by restoring Mau forest,” said Ndivo.

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