Residents protest against grabbing of sacred forest in Kwale

Residents protest against grabbing of sacred forest in Kwale

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Waa residents in Kwale demolish a wall erected around Kaya Waa.

Waa residents in Kwale County have given the County and national government a two weeks ultimatum to intervene and save their sacred forests from being grabbed by private developers.

The residents claimed Kaya Waa is their ancestral sacred forest and serves as their place of worship and a fish landing site used by Beach Management Unit (BMU) members of Nyari Kikadini in Waa.

Led by Nyari Kikadini BMU chairman Mwafitina Juma , the residents said the landing site was gazetted in 1974.

kwale 1He said the investor has started erecting a fence through his contractor, blocked the access road to the beach and the forest.

“We wanted to bring down the whole wall but since the County officials have assured us they will address the matter, we will wait but we have asked the contractor to bring down a small part of the fence to allow access to the area” said Bakari.

He however said that they will only wait for two weeks as the whole matter is solved failure to which they will destroy the whole wall.

“We only give the county and national government an ultimatum of 2 weeks to come up with a proper information about this investor failure to that the waa community will destroy the whole perimeter wall,” Mwafitina said.

Daniel Wananda the contractor working with Devtake building and construction Company said that he was sent by the investor to start the construction of the fence at the Kaya Waa sacred Forest which started a week ago.

“I do not have any mistake as a contractor since the investor sent me here for work which he claimed to have cleared everything with the owners of the land and the relevant authorities, ” Wananda said.

He also said that the investor was intending to construct a tourist resort at the current Kaya sacred forest.

Kwale County Chief Executive Committee member in charge of Lands and Mining Ali Mafimbo said they are following up the matter with the National Lands Commission and they have ordered the investor to bring his documents that shows he owns the land that is said to be 10 acres.

Mafimbo also ordered the construction of the wall to be stopped.