Squatters on the ‘Hanging Valley’ face eviction

State to kick out over 30,000 settlers to pave way for conservation in the escarpment in Elgeyo Marakwet

More than 30,000 families who have settled along landslide-prone areas of Kerio escarpment in Elgeyo  Marakwet county will be evicted to pave way for conservation.

  Water, Environment and Natural Resources executive Abraham Barsosio said the County government has rolled out public awareness and sensitisation meetings in the affected areas ahead of the exercise.

He said they have advised the illegal settlers to stop further agricultural activities on the Kerio escarpments to avoid more devastating calamities.

Barsosio said landslides following heavy rains have left 100 people dead in the area.

Unsuitable areas

Landslide-prone areas mapped out by the National and County government as unsuitable for human habitation include Sambirir, Embolot-Embobut, Tambach and Kocholwa.

The county government will embark on the conservation programmes of water catchment areas in the region once the evictions are done.

Barisosio who was accompanied by his Agriculture counterpart Shadrack Yatich was speaking at Kocholwo area where they engaged the local community on the need to conserve the escarpment.

He said they will collaborate with the National government and other stakeholders involved in environmental conservation to stop illegal farming.

“We realised that many families have settled on the escarpment and engage in commercial farming and charcoal burning business, thereby frustrating efforts to conserve the environment,” said Barsosio.

 “We have already dispatched a team of land surveyors who will erect beacons that will guide the illegal settlers on where the cutline is. We cannot accept this kind of illegal farming activities in the escarpments,” he added.

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