Proceed with Mau Forest evictions, Archbishop Ole Sapit tells gov’t


Proceed with Mau Forest evictions, Archbishop Ole Sapit tells gov't
Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit.

In Summary

  • Ole Sapit said the church supports the conservation of the forest, further cautioning political leaders against ethnicising the ongoing Mau forest evictions.
  • He said a section of leaders from the region are now invoking ethnicity as the debate rages on over the fate of those who encroached the forest.
  • According to Ole Sapit, the Mau complex does not belong to a single community, adding that it's crucial for the country as well as neighboring countries as a water catchment area.

Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit has urged the government to proceed with the evictions to rid the Mau forest of human settlements.

Speaking at St. Stephens Cathedral ACK church in Kisumu on Sunday, Ole Sapit said the church supports the conservation of the forest, further cautioning political leaders against ethnicising the ongoing Mau forest evictions.

“We want to urge the president not to relent in the preservation of the Mau Forest and any other forests in this country because without the preservation of nature we will not have a future. The Mau complex is very critical,” said the Archbishop.

Ole Sapit said a section of leaders from the region are now invoking ethnicity as the debate rages on over the fate of those who encroached the Mau forest.

He maintained that the Mau complex does not belong to a single community, adding that the forest is a crucial resource for Kenya and the neighboring countries as a water catchment area.

“Preservation of that forest should not be politicised or ethnicised in any way. Already we can see politicians from certain communities coming out to politicise this issue as if the forest belongs to a particular community,” he added.

“That forest is for us all and for the future generations.”

Controversy rages on over the Mau forest evictions, with leaders trading accusations and counter-accusations.

A section of Rift Valley leaders opposed to the Mau Forest evictions are now training their guns on Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko for engineering the process.

Led by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot the leaders claim the ongoing evictions are aimed at settling political scores.

“It is a political operation because it is aimed at reducing the number of a certain community in Narok County,” said the Kericho Senator.

So far, about 12,000 acres of encroached land have been recovered with over 8,000 people evicted. The second face of the Mau evictions targets 40,000 people.

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Story By Allan Obiero
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