, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 – Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has commissioned a Sh164 million Mau Eburu conservation project which is funded by the M-PESA Foundation.
Tobiko says the project which involves the construction of electric fence and extensive reforestation along the gazetted forest boundary will resolve the persistent human-wildlife conflict and restore the parts of the forest degraded by human encroachment.
“Climate Change is real. It is here with us. For us to save our future generations, we must invest in environmental conservation. The health of our environment dictates in a big way the impact of climate change on communities,” said Les Baillie, Executive Director and M-PESA Foundation.
The partnership project with Rhino Ark Charitable Trust, Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service also saw the introduction of a conservation based education curricula in 31 schools in Eburu where pupils are trained on the importance of forest conservation.
The Board Director and Founding Trustee, Perez Olindo, Rhino Ark Charitable Trust said the project is a great example of the success and impact Public-Private Partnerships can bring to communities.
“The entire project is designed as a long-term sustainable solution, with a key component being the ongoing establishment of the Eburu Trust and accompanying Endowment Fund to continuously manage the fence and support related activities,” he said.
The Eburu Forest covers an area of 8,715 hectares of prime indigenous forest area and is one of the last known refuge for the critically endangered mountain bongo antelope- of which fewer than 100 animals survive in the wild, exclusively in Kenya.