Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has ordered the eviction of residents who have grabbed and settled on public land at Chetambe hills in Webuye East constituency saying afforestation must be implemented instead.
Addressing residents at Sang’alo Technical Institute in Bungoma County where he launched the short rains period tree planting exercise, Tobiko said it’s known that some residents have grabbed land in the hills and called upon the Bungoma County Commissioner to take charge and have them vacate the land immediately.
He asserted that those who have grabbed public land especially in Mau forest and other areas will also vacate saying they should not also expect to be compensated.
“Some come with title deeds claiming that they bought the land genuinely, they should be assured that they’ll not receive any penny from the government instead they should be the ones paying for staying on government land,” he said.
He said they have launched the programs in higher education learning institutions to boost the exercise as the students will be tasked with taking care of the seedlings and also challenged them to do the same when they go back home.
Bungoma County Commissioner James Kianda said they have been tasked to plant at least five million seedlings saying together with other stakeholders they will ensure the exercise is achieved saying with officers and residents at the grass root level it will be a task to be carried out well.
The event was also graced by among other guests NETFUND which deals with conservation of the environment and headed by former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga who called upon residents to plant more trees and preserve water catchment areas.