Monday, February 18, 2019
Senior Director of Admin. Amb. Kandie flanked by Conservation Secretary, Mr. Gathaara addressing Kaya elders at Kaya Nimwache forest, KwaleDSC_0203

For many years, Kaya forests have been revered as sacred sites, where special prayers have been held by the Mijikenda. They therefore, owe their existence to beliefs, culture, and history of the nine coastal Mijikenda ethnic groups: the Giriama, Digo, Duruma, Rabai, Kauma, Ribe, Jibana, Kambe, and Chonyi. To date, there are over 50 Kayas that have been identified in Kwale County, Mombasa County and Kilifi County.

Speaking during an inspection tour of the on-going rehabilitation and conservation of Kaya forests in Kwale County, the Senior Director of Administration in the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ambassador Julius Kandie, who led a team from the Ministry on behalf of the Principal Secretary noted that, Kaya forests have been managed through very efficient traditional systems that have been achieved largely through the strength of spiritual beliefs and social rules and norms.

Noting that conservation endeavors are faced with numerous challenges, Ambassador Kandie identified rising demand for forest products and land for agriculture, mining, and other activities as a result of increased population, as some of the causes of gradual destruction and loss of the Kaya forests.

While paying a courtesy call to Kwale Governor, HE. Hon. Salim Mvury, Ambassador Kandie noted that Government was focusing on planting over 100 million trees by the end of 2014 and setting up Green Schools as epi-centres of learning on the issues of conservation, and noted that, the Ministry was spearheading a programme on commercializing trees and Bamboo and called for the participation of the youths and women in the exercise.

Kwale County Commissioner, Mr Evans Achoki, Conservation Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Gideon Gathaara and Environment Secretary, Dr. Alice Kaudia where in the tour.

Kwale County Commissioner, Mr. Evans Achoki taking the SDA and his team on a conducted tour of the Kaya forests in Kwale
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