Installation of 30-kilometer fence in Maasai Mau forest completed

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The installation of a 30 kilometer fence to strengthen the protection of the Maasai Mau mega watershed forest has been completed and is ready for operation.

Narok South County Assistant Commissioner Felix Kisalu has confirmed that the fence has been brought up to the standard required to prevent uncontrolled human activity in the forest.

Solar-powered closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance has been installed 200 meters along the fence that runs from the Kibenet area to the Triangle area, he said.

The erection of the electric fence in part of the Mau Forest which started in March 2021 cost 73.8 million shillings and is expected to protect the forest from any form of destruction to allow it to regenerate naturally.

According to Kisalu, the fence was constructed in two phases where the first phase involved the erection of posts and the setting up of an electric fence while the second phase involved the installation of CCTV cameras.

“We opted for solar power because it is more reliable and would not be affected by power outages. We will monitor all activities taking place throughout the forest to eliminate all charcoal burners, illegal loggers and poachers,” the DCC said.

The process, he said, marks a critical step towards the permanent and sustainable conservation of the great watershed.

The closure process was implemented by Kenya Water Towers in collaboration with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).

He praised the residents for supporting the project and speaking up whenever they were asked to help, despite most of them being evictees from the forest.

“At the beginning, people were resistant. They didn’t want the forest to be fenced off because they thought they could go back to the forest. However, after several awareness forums, the locals living around the forest have accepted and are now essential to help fence the forest land,” he said.

Maasai Mau is one of 22 blocks forming the Mau Forest Complex which had been illegally encroached upon after five adjacent group ranches were ballooned during land subdivision.

In 2019, the government evicted over 35,000 settlers from the forest and managed to reclaim over 40,000 hectares of forest land.

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