The Sengwer community has vowed not to bow down to pressure by government agencies to vacate the Embobut forest which they consider as their ancestral land.
Last week, the community members renewed protests against continued violent evictions by Kenya Forest Service which they said went a notch higher during Christmas Day witnessing torching of their houses.
Speaking in Nairobi, they called on the European Union—which is financing a conservation programme for the forest—to suspend all funding to the agencies in the Ministry of Environment tasked with the implementation of the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation because they were using it to violate their human rights.
Community activists, Milka Chepkorir, Yator Kiptum and Elias Kimaiyo said they suspect a hidden motive to grab their ancestral land. They expressed concern that the repeated forced evictions in the hands of the KFS wardens had resulted in loss of property, injuries and abductions.
The activists also accused all the elected leaders from Elgeyo Marakwet county starting with Governor Alex Tolgos, Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Marakwet EastMP Bowen Kangogo of neglecting the community in the hour of need.