Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko has today commissioned a Kshs.164million Mau Eburu project funded by the M-Pesa Foundation.
The conservation project, which commenced in 2013, involved the construction of a 50-kilometre electric fence and extensive reforestation along the gazetted forest boundary to 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, 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.
“This is a great example of the success and impact Public-Private Partnerships can bring to communities,” Said Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
“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,” said Perez Olindo, Board Director and Founding Trustee, Rhino Ark Charitable Trust.
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.
The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Tourism, Najib Balala and his Education counterpart Ambassador Amina Mohammed also attended the event. Also present was Nakuru County Governor, Lee Kinyanjui.