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Mt Kenya forest fencing to cost Sh1b

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) will in the next four months start fencing the expansive Mt Kenya forest following the securing of a Sh1 billion funding.

KWS Director Julius Kipngetich, while making this announcement, said this initiative will commence in September this year, as a critical step towards preventing the continued destruction of the ecosystem of one of the five key water towers in the country.

"If we do not fence Mt Kenya, I can assure you, the cost of electricity in the country will rise astronomically, this is because it supports Tana river, the source of most of the electricity generated in the country," said Kipngetich.

Speaking on Saturday while presiding over a KCB Community Day tree planting exercise at Nairobi National Park Green line, the KWS Director also revealed that they had set aside Sh800 million to erect an electric fence around Marsabit National Park. The first phase of the project is due to start early next year.

Meanwhile The KCB Group has announced plans to invest Sh13.6 million towards environmental conservation.

KCB Group Chief Executive, Dr Martin Oduor-Otieno made the announcement, while leading staff and other stakeholders in celebrating the regional KCB Community Day.

The community day celebrations saw KCB teams\’ plant 10,000 seedlings along a two kilometer stretch of the Nairobi Green line towards its one million trees campaign this year. The bank has a target to plant three million trees between the years in the next three years staring from 2011.

"This is our contribution to restoring Kenya\’s forest cover through our environmental conservation pillar that recognizes that the sustenance of humankind is heavily dependent on the sustainability of the natural eco-system", he said.

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The Nairobi Green Line was launched early last year by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and corporate organisations.
The initiative is aimed at erecting a 30 kilometres by 50 meter forest of indigenous trees that will shield the Nairobi National Park from human encroachment, increased industrial activities, and Human-wildlife conflict through poaching and grazing.

During the Community day exercise, KCB hopes to plant 430,000 seedlings in Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda. "Our objective is to not only plant these 430,000 seedlings in the East Africa region but to also undertake regular maintenance and watering for the seedlings to grow and mature", explained Dr Oduor-Otieno.

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