- Njoro DCC Kennedy Lunalo said Logoman, which forms part of the Mau Forest complex, had been turned into a hideout for criminals.
- But the affected residents said they had planted vegetables, maize and potatoes, among other crops.
- But they currently cannot access the farms following the ban.
Residents of Likia and Mauche in Njoro, Nakuru County have decried the government’s move to ban grazing and farming activities in Logoman Forest.
The ban came to effect over the weekend following rampant cases of cattle rustling.
Njoro Deputy County Commissioner Kennedy Lunalo told the Nation that Logoman, which forms part of the Mau Forest complex, had been turned into a hideout for criminals.
“There are about three communities who stay around Logoman and, for years, they have had freedom to use the forest to graze livestock and practice farming activities for their own benefits but close to a period of one year, they have suddenly turned the forest into battle field for resources,” he said.
But the affected residents said they had planted vegetables, maize and potatoes, among other crops, but currently they cannot access the farms following the ban.
“Most of us preferred the forest land to grow our crops because the area receives regular rainfall throughout the year. We are worried because for now do not know about tomorrow and what our children will feed on,” narrated Mr Karanja Njue, a resident at Mauche village.
Another resident, Ms Pauline Chepkoech, said she is opposed to the ban, adding that the police should have gone for those behind cattle rustling.
“The people behind these cases are few and it is not the entire community. We have been forced to carry the culprits’ burden while the police would have carried out a search to identify and arrest them,” she lamented.
At the same time, herders said they have been left to seek other alternatives for their animals after police were instructed to flush out everyone from the vicinity of the forest.