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Mining company plants 230, 000 trees in Mau forest

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) in collaboration with Base Titanium limited have planted over 230, 000 tree seedlings in 84 blocks of Maasai Mau forest in the past two years.

At the same time, the Kwale based organization gave 20 bee hives and honey harvesting tools that include honey extractor, smokers and harvesting suits to benefit Kirobon youth group whose members live near the forest land.

Base Titanium Environment Coordinator Micah Muema said since they adapted the 84 forest blocks to plant trees two years ago, they have worked closely with the community to sensitize them on environmental conservation.

He said the organization has been training the communities living around the forest land to set up nursery beds as a means of earning an income from selling of the seedlings.

“We made sure we bought the tree seedlings from the local communities to economically promote as we teach them the value of conserving the environment. They felt part of the project and helped in nurturing the seedlings,” he said.

The organization also worked closely with KFS and Narok Natural Resource Network who offered technical knowledge on tree planting.

Kirobon organization chairman Wycliffe Kimutai promised to utilize the bee hives so as to lift the standards of the members.

He revealed that most of their members were people who were evicted from the forest land and have since reformed to become environment conservation champions.

“We will continue planting trees and protecting the environment from any form of degradation. The tools we have been given today will go a long way in boosting our income,” said Kimutai.

In the year 2018 and 2019, the government evicted over 5, 000 families from the Maasai Mau forest to reclaim the forest land that had been invaded.

After the evictions, the government commenced the process of putting up a 30-kilometer electric fence to protect the forest from any future human settlement, while tree planting programmes were also initiated.

By Ann Salaton

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