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15th November 2018, 15:29:31 UTC

The Sengwer people in Kenya have a deep, spiritual bond with the beautiful and vast Embobut Forest. It’s their ancestral land where they have lived for centuries. But this Indigenous community of beekeepers and cattle herders is being violently evicted by the Kenyan government.

In the name of “conservation”, forest guards and police have burned an estimated 2,600 houses since 2012, making some 4,600 people homeless. In January 2018, one man was shot dead and another seriously injured. The violence is in direct violation of repeated court orders that should protect this Indigenous community.

Sengwer people are losing their homes, livelihoods and cultural identity. Some are now living outside the forest and have been left in crushing poverty. Women are often hit hardest, struggling on their own to care for families as some men stay in the forest or have abandoned their families.

The government says it wants to reduce deforestation, but there is no evidence that the Sengwer have damaged the forest. These Indigenous people should be recognized as the owners and natural custodians of the Embobut Forest, as their livelihoods, identity and spirituality rely on it. They are determined to resist. Let’s stand with them today.

Tell Kenya to let the Sengwer people live on their land in peace.

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