Monday, July 23, 2018

CS Keriako discusses conservation matters with Eburu Primary School community in readiness with commissioning of Mau Eburu Ecosystem fence constructed through Safaricom foundation.

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry Mr. Keriako Tobiko yesterday commissioned the fencing of Mau Eburu forest in Nakuru County.

The 43.3 kilometer fence has addressed human wildlife conflict, streamlined forest access, improved revenue collection and decreased incidences of illegal activities.

The indigenous forest reserve managed by KFS is one of the 22 Forest blocks of the Mau forest complex.

The project funded by the Safaricom Mpesa foundation through collaboration between the Rhino Ark, KFS and the Kenya Wildlife Service was started in the year 2013.

Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the Safaricom Mpesa Foundation Chief Executive Officr Mr. Les Baillie said that Kshs.164 Million has been committed towards restoration of the Eburu Forest.

He added that Mpesa foundation would go beyond just planting trees for conservation and restoring the ecosystem but will build partnerships with communities in other projects.

The CS visited a family of an indigenous Ogiek community living in the Mau Eburu ecosystem earning a living from forest products. He observed that local communities must be appreciated, acknowledged and involved in the management of forests for posterity.

A local Community Forest Association with a membership of over 500 members within the Mau forest is actively involved in bee keeping and conservation of the forest. They have over 400 beehives that provide them with honey for domestic consumption and sale.

The CS lauded the Mpesa foundation for their huge contribution to restore the forest and also acknowledged the Finlay Company who provided the fencing posts made of recycled plastics.

He reiterated the Presidents call to ensure the country meets 10 per cent forest cover by the year 2022 saying that a lot of efforts need to be done by all. The current forest cover stands at 7.2 %.

The Ceremony witnessed the launching of the Eburu management plan, presentation of the Primary and Secondary School Environment and Conservation Curriculum that will be handed over to the Ministry of Education for implementation and the launching of the Eburu Tourist Guide Book.

Nakuru Governor H.E Lee Kinyanju who also joined the CS during the function Said that the county Government will work hand in hand with other stakeholders to promote the conservation efforts.

Others who attended the commissioning ceremony were, the KFS Chairman Mr. Peter Kinyua, Rhino Ark        C .E. O Mr. Christian Lamberechts, KFS CHAIRMAN Peter Kinyua and  acting Chief Conservator of Forests Ms Monica Kalenda among other dignitaries.

Env CS K.Tobiko switches on the Mau Eburu Ecosystem electric fence.Looking on is Safaricom Mpesa Foundation CEO Les Baillie and Christian Lamberchts CEO of Rhino Ark (CS’s right).

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