Kenya: Wildlife Society Aids in Mau Reafforestation

The interim coordinating secretariat for the restoration of Mau forest complex has launched a new partnership with the African Wildlife Society for the conservation of a 19,000 hectare block.

AWS will, in the course of the next seven years, rehabilitate the Enderit block in the eastern part of the Mau complex in a public-private partnership initiated by coordinating secretariat.

The secretariat chairman Hassan Noor said that the forest’s rehabilitation programme was on course and that secretariat was awaiting a go ahead from the government on the restoration of the Maasai Mau block which was next on the agenda. ‘We have listed all the inhabitants of the block and submitted a report. We are awaiting feedback,’ he said.

Noor added that survey of the Olposimoru, South Western, Transmara and Maasai Mau blocks of the forests had been completed and the government would soon be handing over title deeds for the gazetted forests to the Kenya Forest Service. ‘We have recovered 24,000 hectares of forest that had been under human settlement, planted over 10 million seedlings and reafforestated close to 7,000 hectates since September 2009. Great strides have been made,’ the Chairman told stakeholders during the launch.

AWS President Hellen Gichohi said that her organisation had noted the need to get involved in the rehabilitation process due to the economic constraints facing the programme.

Kenya Wildlife Service Director Julius Kipng’etich called on private sector stakeholders to increase their participation in Mau’s restoration process.

He urged business communities in Nakuru, Narok, Eldoret and other towns west of the forest to join the public-private partnership programme as their enterprises stood to gain a lot from the complex. ‘Businesses benefitting from the Mara, Lake Nakuru and many other facilities made possible by this forest are not getting sufficiently involved,’ the Director said.

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