15 Mau eviction schools denied registration on land papers

Maasai Mau
Forest rangers at Maasai Mau on September 6. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI  

The 15 schools located in sections of the Maasai Mau forest targeted for eviction were denied registration by the Ministry of Education due to failure to show proof of land ownership and employment of qualified teachers.

A letter by the Narok County director of education indicates that the schools made inquiries on the registration requirements and that a number of them even 'attempted' to meet the conditions.

“This matter was brought to the attention of County Education Board and the board advised that they had to acquire land documents and be approved by NEMA [National Environmet Management Authority] before they could be considered for registration,” says the September 2 letter signed by Philip Wambua, the county director of education.

The letter was tabled before the National Assembly Environment and Natural Resources Committee by Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko on Tuesday.

The schools include Chebirebelek, Chebetet, Lelechwet, Kiroboni, Senetwet, Kapislibwo, Kitoben and Indiani.


Others are Kabarak, Noosagami, Chorwet, Ogiglgwe, Sebetet, Olabai and Koitabai.

The schools have been at the centre of the public debate on the planned phase two of evictions targeting people the government says encroached on forestland.

The government at some stage ordered the closure of the schools. But Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya later reversed the directive to close the schools, saying the decision was made in order to allow candidates sit their national examinations uninterrupted in October.

The schools, according to Mr Wambua, had no teacher employed by the Teachers Service Commission and that efforts were being made to establish who was attending to the pupils.

They had been in existence since 2017 and had 4,681 pupils.

Each of the 15 schools had four permanent classrooms at different stages of completion and other semi-permament structures.