Putting boots and more on the ground in Arabuko-Sokoke

Since its relaunch in 2016, Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, a Committee of Nature Kenya, has been putting ‘boots on the ground’ to support Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service to protect this treasured forest. This was further boosted when in 2017 FoASF received funding from the Minara and Oak foundations to train and employ 10 community scouts and carry out daily patrols to help heighten the security of the forest.
Through these patrols the Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke’s profile has been greatly increased and they are seen as one of the key protectors of the forest. Arrests have been made and snares and logs confiscated.
Apart from this vital work, Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke continue to create awareness of the forest amongst local and international communities and to support the local farming communities. Recently, with the assistance of African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) FoASF has rented land for 17 local women and one man to plant cassava. AFEW also provided a solar drier and processor to help following the harvesting of the crop.
Recognising that the future of the forest is in the hands of the youth, FoASF has started a concentrated programme of bringing 2,000 primary school pupils into the forest. This has been made possible with 500,000/- raised from the Kilifi Gold Triathlon and help from AFEW.
Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest promotes the conservation of the forest through participation and was relaunched following a critical threat to the forest from oil and gas exploration surveys. Its more than 200 ‘friends’ are drawn from individuals, people from the local community who are passionate about the conservation and sustainability of the forest, academia and commerce.
Check our website or Facebook page for more information. And when next at the coast do visit the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest!