Mr. James Gechea, Forester Geta explains the raising of tree seedlings to the DC Nyandarua West Mr. Paulo Pamba and the Senior Deputy Director KFS, Mr. Emilio Mugo during an open day at Ol Bolossat Forest. Looking on (left) is the Zonal Manager Nyandarua Mr. B.M Kinyili.
Members of the public visit the exhibition stand during the open day at Ol Bolossat forest. Close to 1000 area residents participated in the event that provided a platform for KFS to interact and exchange information with its key stakeholder.
The Ol bolossat Forest was a beehive of activity at the Open Day on 16th June 2010 as scores of residents arrived to learn more about forestry. The Zonal Manager, Nyandarua Mr. B.M. Kinyili explained that the Open Day had been organized to educate local residents on the importance of forestry and to create a platform for them to ask questions among the exhibitors. Attention was drawn to the efforts to preserve Ol Bolossat forest and the Lake Ol bolossat, which has suffered from illegal encroachment and degradation.
Local communities who form the Community Forest Association (CFA) have completed a management plan which will be used to guide conservation of this vital ecosystem. In his speech, the Guest of Honor, Mr. Emilio Mugo, Senior Deputy Director KFS, called upon residents to place confidence in the implementation of the management plan, which would ensure sustainable use of the forest resources. Services on display included various processes in forestry such as seed nursery establishement, plantation management, protection services and livelihood improvement services.
As part of the Zone’s Corporate Social Responsibility, the residents received free deworming of livestock at an estimated cost of one million Kenya Shillings. KFS partner organizations including Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) and CFA groups were also at hand to display their goods and services which are centered on forest resources. It was noted that KFS had grown 3.2 million indigenous and exotic seedlings to rejuvenate the forests around lake Ol Bollosat, as part of the strategy to conserve the lake which has been greatly threatened by encroachment and massive degradation. The forest holds ecotourism potential because it is a recognized bird watching site.
Report & Pictures By Anne Kaari