Rift Valley leaders have appealed to the government to handle the Mau forest restoration humanely.
The second phase of eviction of settlers in Kenya’s most important water tower has been announced.
Leaders are concerned that as schools open for the third term on Monday, thousands of the pupils in the areas of alleged degazetted Mau forest might not resume learning.
“The people of Rift Valley are equally conscious and disciplined about environmental conservation. They can grow as many trees as they can when they are told to do so but not through threats and forceful evictions,” Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok said.
Barchok asked Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko to halt his eviction plans and find a favourable solution to address the settlement crisis.
Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis termed the issue emotive and urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene.
They were addressing the public during the homecoming and thanksgiving of Baringo Deputy Governor Jacob Chepkwony at Seretunin in Baringo Central subcounty on Saturday.
“Before anyone decides to move in government machinery to evict thousands of poor families in Mau, can you first retreat and put yourself in their shoes?” Kiptis said.
He said children, women, the elderly and people with special needs will be affected.
He proposed alternative settlement and full compensation before the people leave.
Barchok said it is the government which issued the people with title deeds and allowed them to live in Mau forest for the last 15 years.
Baringo Central MP Joshua Kandie also criticised the evictions, saying the government should be considerate.