Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya (CCBA-K) supported Hombe Community Forest Association (CFA) members to plant 15,000 trees in Mt. Kenya forest, facilitated by Nature Kenya. Early this year, Nature Kenya and CCBA-K signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to implement socio-economic investment programs in environmental conservation in Kenya. The MoU, geared towards CCBA-K’s sustainability agenda, targets forest reforestation programs in Kenya’s catchment areas.
Planting took place during the April rains season. The Hombe restoration site includes a swamp on the verge of drying up. It is hoped that the newly planted trees will resuscitate this wetland as they mature.
Hombe CFA has a membership of about 1,900 individuals drawn from the neighbouring community. Most members engage in tree seedling production as their main source of income. The CCBA-K support has helped to improve the livelihoods of Hombe CFA members through the sale of 15,000 tree seedlings.
“The support from Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya has helped me pay for rent and other basic family needs like food, particularly during this difficult Covid-I9 period,” says Gladys Wangu, a member of Hombe CFA.
“I am grateful to the management of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa-Kenya and Nature Kenya for their support towards restoration of our forest. I appeal to others to also join us in making Hombe and the larger Mt. Kenya forest regain its original state,” says Wilson Thige, the chairperson of Hombe CFA.
Mt Kenya forest is home to rich flora and fauna. Among the species it hosts is the Critically Endangered Mountain Bongo and Kenya Jewel Damselfly, and the vulnerable Abbott’s Starling.