, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 15 – The Kenya Defence Forces have joined efforts to conserve the country’s forest cover by constructing an electric fence around the Mau Eburu forest.
KDF’s Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Oluoch said they would the fence around the forest to protect it from further destruction and human encroachment.
“Trees are very important and they help in sustaining resources and if properly maintained they are equally distributed and communities do not fight as they each have some source of resource they can use, “said Lt Col Oluoch.
The military boss, who led a team of 40 soldiers in the exercise said, “The requirement for security today embraces both economic, social development as well as environmental protection since anything that degrades the quality of life impacts the security of our people.”
Rhino Ark in partnership with the M-PESA Foundation this year launched a Sh155 million fencing initiative which will result in the construction of a 50 kilometres electric fence around the forest to protect it from further destruction.
Through a partnership with M-PESA Foundation, 10 kilometres of the electric fence has already been fully built and powered from the Fire tower in Eburu to Ole Sirwa in Oljorai.
The 50km electric fence is expected to be completed by September next year.
M-PESA Foundation Executive Director Les Baillie said illegal charcoal trade has been a key factor for the destruction of the forest.
He says they plan to involve the locals in the initiative towards the rehabilitation of the forest.
“One of the aims of the projects is not only build the fence but also educate the community on creating tree nurseries that way we can help them generate incomes out of selling the seedlings,” explained Baillie.
In 1989 the government began a fencing project for the Aberdare Forest that was completed in 2009.
The forest was depleted by human encroachment which resulted in the animals fleeing the area and poor terrain with frequent landslides.
This initiative is in line with that of the Kenya Wildlife society where they have partnered with relevant government institutions to protect the county’s flora and fauna.
Campaigns have been created in a bid to sensitize the public on the implications of poaching.
The most recent is a campaign led by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta to protect the elephants from poaching where poachers caught face legal repercussions.