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Govt says squatters will be evicted as planned

30 January 2014, 09:31

Pokot - The government will forcefully evict thousands of squatters from West Pokot and Marmanet Forest, if they disobey eviction orders, a cabinet official said.

The government has given a notice to the more than 10,000 squatters living in the areas.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Environment, Water and Natural Resources Richard Lesiampe called upon the squatters to evacuate the forest peacefully or face forceful eviction.

“We have also given notice to those who are still in other forests, they need to prepare to go .We know we have got families in West Pokot, Marmanet forest in Kiesia. There is Loruki forest in Samburu and Kilifi areas,” said Lesiampe.

He further warned that Kenyans would not suffer because of climate change as a result of a few individuals who encroached and destroyed water catchment areas.

“Kenyans will not suffer because of climate change, Kenyans will not lose and miss water because of people destroying this fragile ecosystems,” added Lesiampe.

His remarks come barely a week after forest guards torched houses belonging to Embobut squatters following an expiry of a deadline issued to them.

The government compensated the displaced families and cautioned them against encroaching back into forest.

Despite that, some remained adamant prompting as authorities to torch their structures.

A total of 15 schools have since been closed in the area following the evictions.

Emilio Mugo, an official from the Environment Ministry, said they would collaborate with the Ministry of Education to ensure the displaced students continue with their education.

– CAJ News

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