Reports on the decision by the Cabinet to approve the excision of 17,000 hectares of Mau Forest land and be given out to individuals that have illegally occupied the forest over the years are disturbing and pose the biggest threat ever to Kenya’s environmental conservation efforts.
The Kenya government should be aware that allocating such huge chunk of Mau Forest to these individuals will spell an end to Maasai Mara National Reserve that earns this country billions in terms of revenue and the resultant environmental destruction that will follow such action will be painful and one that will cost Kenya dearly to recover from both locally and internationally.
Our National heritage are increasingly falling into the hands of private individuals and hiving off such 17,000 hectares of land from the Mau will immediately ignite the hitherto volatile tribal tension previously experienced in the region besides the anticipated political divisions that have been synonymous with the Mau Forest and all Kenyans of goodwill should stand up and oppose this move in order to protect and reserve this country’s posterity.
It is sad that whereas all nations of the world fight to protect their natural resources, as a country Kenya is busy fighting to destroy these resources because of our selfish interests, egoism and the “ money chasing” habit that continues to take toll on most Kenyans.
We have become a country busy destroying itself and accelerating our own environmental degradation for political expediency and in the glaring open eyes of all Kenyans from all walks of life, what a shame!
The Central Organisation of Trade Unions, COTU (K) calls upon parliament to stand firm against such action irrespective of individual member’s political or tribal persuasion and at the same time we appeal to His Excellency the President to exploit his constitutional mandate and extend an executive order aimed at stopping any such interference with this forest including others now earmarked for grabbing by known individuals for their selfish gains.
Lest any attempts to allow for the excision of the said hectares of the forest will expose the President and his cabinet to a harsh historical judgement many years to come and as Kenyan workers, the imminent level of destruction as a result including the loss of jobs will not let us sit back and watch as the Mau Forest goes down!
Francis Atwoli, NOM (DZA),EBS, MBS