At least 90 percent of illegal settlers of Mau Forest are said to have vacated the water tower on their own volition.
Amid the lapse in the deadline issued to forest encroachers to move out voluntarily, Narok County commissioner Samuel Kimiti disclosed on Thursday that majority of those who had encroached the Maasai Mau have already left.
Security agencies are waiting for a directive to move in and rid the forest of all settlements ahead of planned tree planting exercise.
Authorities put the number of those who have vacated the forest at 3,184 out of the 3,366 households that had been earmarked for eviction. Another 182 households are said to have left partially given that they still had their produce in farms.
Government agencies spearheading the Mau restoration have further disclosed that so far they have received a number of title deeds and allotment letters voluntarily surrendered by some of those who resided in the forest.
Kimiti dismissed claims by a section of political leaders who allege inhuman treatment of Mau settlers especially in regards to candidates from the 15 schools in the Mau who were to sit for their KCPE exams.
He further poured cold water on attempts by leaders to stop people from leaving the Mau saying most of those affected had already decided against staying put.
A process to reclaim the forest commences on Friday where the ministry of environment, the county government as well relevant stakeholders and the community will replant over 10 million trees.
Already 400 people have been employed to facilitate the forest rehabilitation process.