“The current situation where COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world is dangerous for the evictees, it is a great challenge worldwide therefore rendering people homeless currently is a distress,” said Chemabus
A Cheptais born human rights activist cum politician Amos Chemabus has asked Kenya Forest service officers to give time to squatters to vacate the forest.
Chemabus said it was against the human rights to vacate them like wild animals and subjecting them to inhuman beatings while kicking them out of the State forest.
Addressing the press in Bungoma town on Thursday July 16, Mr. Chemabus said that the forest recovery efforts are welcomed but the current situation could have necessitated further grace period for the occupants to vacate.
“The current situation where COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world is dangerous for the evictees, it is a great challenge worldwide therefore rendering people homeless currently is a distress,” he said.
He said that farmers have invested in the farming activities in these areas of Chebwek and Chebombai within Cheptais ward, of which they are yet to harvest their farm produce and its our prayer that the government ought to be human in the entire process.
He pointed out that these evictees are going to suffer a lot during this rainy season and they will group together hence they can easily contract Coronavirus which is great challenge.
Furthermore, the lobbyst accused leaders dishing land to the landless people while receiving hefty bribes from them without highlighting the challenges associated with it as doing a disservice to the victims.
“Our leaders know very well that the forest is a government land but they still go a head and allocate it to the landless people haphazardly without following laid down procedures, now look where should they go?,” Posed Chemabus.
So far over 1,000 people have been left homeless after over 400 houses illegally constructed in Mt Elgon forest were torched by Kenya Forest service officers.
The KFS officers are conducting operation to kick out people who have settled and are illegally cultivating in the forest.
Vitalis Osodo, the Bungoma County Ecosystem conservator says that the eviction exercise which kicked off three weeks ago will ensure that the forest is conserved and no human being is allowed in to cause its destruction.