Eddy leads senators to pick petition against forest gazette notice on Macalder land

By MN Reporter

Migori senator Eddy Oketch on Wednesday led sevarl colleagues to collect a petition against plan by government to gazette as forest land in Macalder Kanyarwanda ward.

Oketch said the gazette notice government which declared 2494.95 Ha situated approximately 25 kilometers North West of Migori town, Migori County had been gazetted as a forest area was done without any public participation.

“These people have been living in this land for generations, today we picked this petition and we will ensure government revokes the gazette notice and negotiates with residents through public participation which was not there,” Oketch said.

He was speaking at Osiri gold and copper mines in the area when he hosted several senators, area Macalder Kanyarwanda MCA Felix Okwanyo, speaker Owino Likowa among others.

According to the gazette notice, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry pointed out that the boundaries of the area selected to be a forest area are more particularly delineated, edged geen, on boundary plan number 175/517.

“The boundary plan is signed and sealed with a seal of Survey of Kenya, and deposited at the survey records office, survey of Kenya, Nairobi and a copy of which may be inspected at the office of the County Forest Conservator, Migori County and Forest Service Headquarters,” the notice read in part.

The land hosts over 20,000 homes, houses Macalder town which is the headquarters of Nyatike North has over 30 schools, tertiary institutions, hotels, government offices, churches.

“Among many  issues raised by the petition is for government to issue title deeds to parcels of land already occupied and under economic and social activities,” he said.

Homa Bay senator Otieno Kajwang’ said President William Ruto was welcomed to tour Nyanza region from Thursday and should ensure the gazette notice is revoked.

Kirinyaga senator Kamau Murango, nominated senators Beth Siengo and Tabitha Mutinda said as senate they will ensure the gazette notice does not go through until there is public participation and interests of locals are safeguarded.