Kenya Forest Service
|Clarifying Information on the Embobut Forest: The NRMP Perspective|
The NRM Project was implemented jointly by Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA), National Irrigation Board (NIB) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) from 2008 to 30th June, 2013. The project development objective was “to improve the management of water and forest resources in selected districts” covering the Mt. Kenya, Mt. Elgon, Cherangani Hills and the Aberdare Water Towers and Surrounding Catchments.
The programme became operational on the ground in late 2009. Engagement with the Sengwer Community started in November, 2009 until June, 2013 when the project officially closed. The service first established committees through open consultations with the wider community in a reasonably participatory and democratic manner. During this period, the project initiated a process through the structures of KFS to sensitize and empower the communities in the area and in particular the Sengwer on matters of governance and alternative livelihood opportunities aimed at reducing pressure on the forests. This process was done in strict compliance of the applicable World Bank Social Safeguard Policies. There is no gainsaying of the success of the outcome.
One of the important milestones that need to be clarified is the boundary survey of the forest undertaken during the period. The purpose of the boundary survey of this forest (segmented in at least 20 blocks) was to locate and trace on the ground the forest boundary as per the existing gazette notice which legally defines the extent of the boundaries. This is not the same as altering boundaries.
Alteration of gazetted forest boundaries can only be done with the approval of Parliament as per article 27 of the Forests Act 2005. We have no information that this happened or is even being considered using the survey output. The misinformation that this survey work has been used to determine who should be evicted from the forest is a total distortion of facts and should therefore be disregarded.
There is no forceful eviction of Sengwer members from the entire Cherengani forest. Genuine persons deserving resettlement under the Government programme of resettling internally displaced persons (IDPs) and in particular the Embobut forest dwellers were extensively profiled through a consultative and participatory process led by the State Department for Special Programmes.
The exercise was necessary in order to pave way for the Government to restore the Cherangani forests, a major national water tower serving more than 2 million Kenyans through the Nzoia and Turkwel rivers.
For further information, please contact the Kenya Forest Service, Corporate Communications Department on
or call: 020 2396440