Challenges and Opportunities Resulting from Mau Forest Evictions of Ogiek Community, Kenya

Authors

  • Betty Chemutai Koech Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology
  • Ruth Simiyu Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51867/ajernet.4.2.31

Keywords:

Challenges, Mau Forest Evictions, Ogiek Community, Opportunities

Abstract

This paper presents the results and discussions of the objective of the study, which assessed the challenges and opportunities resulting from the evictions of the Ogiek people from the Mau Forest Complex. The study looked at the challenges faced by the Ogiek and the government following the evictions. Secondly, it examined the opportunities that the Ogiek community and the government experienced after the evictions. Public interest and human needs theories underpinned the study. The study used a descriptive research design. The study sampled 465 respondents, who included 384 household heads, 1 county commissioner, 2 deputy county commissioners, 7 chiefs, 14 village elders, 1 county police commander, 2 sub-county police commanders, 5 conservationist organizations, 5 environmentalist groups, 1 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) officer, 1 UN Habitat officer, 1 officer from the ministry of environment, 10 officers from Kenya Forest Service (KFS), 10 officers from Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), 5 officers from NGOs, 1 officer from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and 15 heads of NGOs and CBOs. The study applied simple random, purposive, and census sampling techniques. Interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions (FGD), and observation made up the data collection instruments. SPSS version 26 was used to analyze quantitative data and was presented in tables, graphs, and charts. The study examined the challenges and opportunities of Mau forest evictions, where poaching, animal attacks, hunger, malnutrition, mental illnesses, and poor health plagued the Ogiek community. The study recommends clear and transparent guidelines regarding the eviction process and any form of compensation set and discussed with the affected households so as to avoid unnecessary impoverishment and protect livelihoods. This information is useful as it will better inform forest managers, policymakers, and other actors in their efforts to fairly and responsibly manage and balance ecological and social development. The study suggests that the government of Kenya adopts a more humane and sustainable relocation policy and involves the Ogiek community in decision-making and investment in alternative livelihoods.

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Published

2023-08-26

How to Cite

Koech, B. C., & Simiyu, R. (2023). Challenges and Opportunities Resulting from Mau Forest Evictions of Ogiek Community, Kenya. African Journal of Empirical Research, 4(2), 304–314. https://doi.org/10.51867/ajernet.4.2.31