Monday, January 24, 2011

Deforestation and Climate Change in Kenya

JANUARY 10TH, 2011

kenya mau forest, farmingLakes in the Rift Valley are drying, Rivers have now become streams. Glacier on top of Mt. Kenya is decreasing at an increasing rate. Arid lands are extending. Water points are drying and all one can see is vast plain lands with little or no vegetation. Farmers can no longer predict rainfall. One can not help but pity the bicycle looking animals gracing on dry empty grasslands.
The number of wild animals in Mt Kenya forest is decreasing rapidly. With time it will be difficult for an elephant to survive in the once thick forest that hosted thousands of elephants.
Massive deforestation in Aberderas, Mt.Kenya and Mau forest still remains a political issue. These Forests used to be covered by thick vegetation that trapped moisture, kept temperatures cool, and performed other functions including supplying plentiful rainfall.
People unknowingly or intentionally are clearing forests and replacing them with farms.  Mismanagement of the forests by the government officials either selling or giving permits to timber merchants who over log. There are little efforts by corporate society by planting trees but this does not seem to be a major concern for the government.
As usual everything in Kenya must be politicized. So anyone one who raises his or her head about the forest encroachers risks his political career.  What happened to the Mau eviction? Deforestation is one of several human activities that experts say contribute to climate change.
Local communities are clearing grassy plains and forests for farming or to burn charcoal. This goes on without notice. Factories on the other hand are polluting the environment by driving effluents into already drying up rivers and lakes.
They are especially worried that the emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases into the air are forming a barrier that prevents the sun’s energy from radiating back into space, thus raising the earth’s temperature.
Climate change is causing more intense and frequent droughts, floods, hurricanes, rising sea levels, and other negative effects in Kenya.
For a country like Kenya to counter the effects of climate change, it has to plant trees and increase its forest cover. Trees absorb excess carbon dioxide and other harmful gases from the atmosphere.
The effects of climate
Loss of species, that is both plants and animals due to drought,
Prolonged drought that causes lose of biodiversity thus affecting the ecosystem
Lose of human life, lack of food and water due to prolonged causes’ death. This is being witnessed in the northern parts of Kenya today.
Poverty, people start relaying on aids. Rain patterns are changing and farmers cannot be able to predict rainfall so most of the times food crops dry up before maturity.
Report Courtesy of


  1. AnonymousJuly 08, 2011

    It is time we Kenyans realize the importance of our forests and take action.Howevwer,the government should allow then locals to grave their animals in the forest if they agree to take care of the forest.

  2. Thanks for such a great post! Deforestation in Kenya is certainly an incredibly important and overlooked issue. An often overlooked region of Kenyan deforestation is the Coast -- Conservation International, one of the leading environmental organizations in the world, recently named the Coastal Forests of East Africa as one of the top ten biodiversity hotspots on the planet. I work with KOMAZA (, a forestry social enterprise that is working in Coastal Kenya to help dryland farmers plant trees on their barren, degraded land. By doing this, we will create an unprecedented source of income for some of Kenya's poorest farm families, and with our environmentally sustainable forestry, a eco-friendly supply of wood products to meet ravenous urban market demands for charcoal, fuel wood, building poles, sawn lumber, etc. We are always excited to find partners who are interested to help East Africa plant trees and increase its forest cover. If you're ever on the Coast, karibu sana Kilifi! Would love to chat about how we can work to use forestry to revive the environment and generate income for poor families.

  3. We need also to focus on the population pressure which we are currenly experiencing. People should encouraged to be coexist with forest in their habitation. Case in point is Roysambu area in Kasarani where the once beautiful wet bushy areas have been replaced by tall residential areas as opposed to Muthaiga area. Several areas can also be sited.