NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – A multi-agency surveillance team, led by Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko, has confirmed the need for urgent environmental restoration efforts in the Enoosupukia and Mt Suswa Forest blocks.
Following a two-day fact-finding mission at the two forest blocks, accompanied by Kenya Forestry Service (KFS), Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA), Narok County Government and local leaders over the weekend, the multiagency team established severe destruction on more than 10,000 hectares of forest cover at Enoosupukia forest block.
Speaking at the conclusion of the aerial and ground mission, KFS Senior Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests, Esau Omollo, decried the wanton destruction of the Enoosupukia forest ecosystem. The forest block, he said, will need to be restored through a series of afforestation and community conservation efforts.
The multi-agency team comprising National, County Government and line agencies, he added, will be formulating a collaborative recovery strategy to effectively manage the restoration exercise at Enoosupukia. He lauded the community around the Mt Suswa Forest and Caldera, who he noted have done a commendable job in advancing conservation efforts to save the forest block.
“Approximately 10,000hectares of Enoosupukia Forest block, have been totally destroyed and it needs to be urgently restored. We appreciate the work done by the Ministry of Energy which has rehabilitated approximately 140hectares, but a lot of work still needs to be done,” Omollo said.
On his part, KWTA Director in-charge of Governance & Co-ordination, Thomas Mumu, said Mt Suswa has been identified as an additional water tower targeted for Gazettement. The necessary efforts to support such as gazettement including community consultation, he said, are currently underway.
As part of the Enoosupukia Forest Trust Land and adjoining areas rehabilitation, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) are developing a reforestation project on Kenyan Trust Lands in collaboration with the Green Belt Movement, and the Narok County Government, among other agencies.
The project focuses on alleviating deforestation drivers, along with enhancing community livelihoods while also seeking to employ carbon financing to protect a critical water catchment area in Kenya.
The result is the development of a range of project activities aimed at restoring forest cover, provide community resources, and strengthening community relationships.