Ongoing efforts to conserve Mt. Kenya ecosystem got a Ksh. 8 million boost from Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) geared towards rehabilitating degraded forest areas. The funds, part of a public-private sector partnership to sustainably restore Mt. Kenya forest, will see KBL support the planting of 100,000 indigenous trees in the forest by the Mt. Kenya Biodiversity (Mt. Kebio) site support group. The public-private sector partnership for sustainable water flows from Mt. Kenya forest is a Nature Kenya initiative that seeks strategic commitment and support from the business sector to enhance the quantity and quality of water flowing from Mt. Kenya.
The initiative targets to raise Ksh. 140 million annually to plant 2 million trees to restore 2,000 Ha of Mt. Kenya and upper Tana catchment landscapes while keeping clean water flowing for access and use by downstream users and ecology.
Speaking when presenting the Ksh. 8 million cheque to Nature Kenya, KBL Finance Director, Ms. Kinya Kimotho said the company was committed to conserving the Mt. Kenya forest, terming it as a key pillars to Kenya’s economic development.
“Today’s partnership is in line with our sustainability agenda which calls us to reduce our environmental impact. So far, 133 staff from KBL have signed up to join the community in Mt. Kenya in planting 100,000 tree seedlings,” said Ms. Kimotho said.
The presentation of the cheque was made during a breakfast meeting convened by Nature Kenya to discuss Mt. Kenya restoration. Prof. Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources was the chief guest at the meeting with participants drawn from the public and private sectors.
Acknowledging the initiative by Nature Kenya, Prof. Wakhungu urged the private sector to play a leading role in the restoration of Mt. Kenya forest by allocating more resources for conservation.
The Mt. Kenya and upper Tana ecosystem is the most productive basin for agriculture in Kenya. It provides water to key national parks, generates half of the country’s total hydropower, and supplies 95% of Nairobi’s water.
Mt. Kenya is also recognised as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and as such is part of the “Kenyan Mountains Endemic Bird Area (EBA)”.
Bird species found there include the Jackson’s Francolin, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Jackson’s Widowbird and Abbott’s Starling.