NLC To Address Land Injustice Against Ogiek Community

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The Mt. Elgon Ogiek, popularly known as the Ndorobo, have at last had something to smile about after the National Land Commission confirmed its intention to look into their land injustice issues.

Speaking during the celebrations of International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on August 9 at Laboot in Chepkitale, Mt. Elgon, Prof. James Tuitoek, one of the NLC’s nine commissioners, assured the residents that their atrocities would be addressed before the end of 2023.

“It’s a nice coincidence that NLC has visited on a special day for indigenous people like you; we celebrate you especially for conserving and protecting our nature, including trees and wild animals,” commented Tuitoek.

He also called upon the Ogiek representatives who took their claims before the commission in pursuit of justice for land they claimed to be the rightful owners.

On the other hand, Prof. Tuitoek emboldened the Ogiek to keep planting more trees while challenging the logging ban by the government.

“If you’ve been this resilient in protecting nature since time immemorial, why should you allow the Kenya Forest Service to cut down trees now? We’ve seen the land you’ve fought for, and by the end of October, rest assured to get our feedback,” affirmed Tuitoek.

Prof Tuitoek who was accompanied by some members of the NLC, received a list comprising 32 clanspeople who are the original occupants of the claimed vast land that stretches from R. Lwakhakha, Suam, Chepkitale, and Trans Nzoia.

Johnson Takur, Chairperson of the Ogiek Council of Elders, confirmed that the list handed over to the commission is correct and advised anyone who feels left out to register with the area chief.

Cherotwei Simotwo, one of the opinion leaders in the Ogiek community, expressed his gratitude towards the coinciding events while applauding all stakeholders for making the day remarkable.

“Our main agenda today was to incorporate our youth into nature conservation, and we’re excited that NLC has also come to grace the occasion by giving us hope and encouraging us to push the biodiversity agenda,” reiterated Simotwo.

The fete was made successful by the Federal Ministry for the Environment,Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety & Consumer Protection, the International Climate Initiative, VOICE, the Forest People’s Programme, Transformative Pathways, and the Chepkitale Indigenous People Development Project.

The day’s theme was ‘Indigenous youth as agents of change for self-determination.’

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