Monday, October 31, 2011


President Mwai Kibaki presents a certificate for the best stand exhibiting herbal medicine to the Coast Assistant Head of Conservancy Mr. Nicholas Munyao in September. KFS participated and emerged top in the herbal medicine category.

First African Chief Conservator of Forests dies

The Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Hon. Dr. Noah Wekesa (3rd left), the Late Mr. Mburu's widow Mary Berta Sagengen and other relatives at the grave side during the burial
The year 2011 was earmarked as the International Year of Forests by the United Nations. And while has been done to highlight issues affecting the planet’s forests, it is also the year that the world lost its foremost environmental crusader and Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai. But just when the country was starting to recover from the loss, the forestry sector was met with news of the death of the first African Chief Conservation of Forests Mr. Onsesmus Wambugu Muguro. 

Mr. Mburu who took over the management of the then Forest Department from Mr. J P W Logie in 1970 headed it for the next 15 years died on October 11th at the age of 75. 

While condoling his family during the funeral service at Kaharo in Liaikipia, the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Hon. Dr. Noah Wekesa lauded the Late Mburu for his integrity and dedication to his work during his long service to the nation. The KFS Director while addressing the same gathering also paid his homage saying that Mr. Mburu had been a mentor who many young foresters emulated. 

The Late Mr. Mburu leaves behind his wife Mary Berta Sagengen, four children and a number of grandchildren. 

Story by Caroline Kahuria and pictures by Michael Muratha

Friday, October 28, 2011

Performance contracts to raise service standards

Deputy Director - Corporate Services Mrs. Lucy Kiboi signs a performance contracts as Mr. Mathenge Gitonga Head Liaison looks on
The Project Manager for Green Zones Development Support Project (GZDSP) Mr. Jerome Mwanzia signs contracts while his officers look on
The Senior Deputy Director for Support Services Mrs. Monicah Kalenda hands over a signed contract to Ms. Anne Kaari of Corporate Communications

Kenya Forest Service (KFS) headquarter staff members working in departments and projects have signed performance contracts at a ceremony officiated by the Senior Deputy Director for Support Services Mrs. Monicah Kalenda. The event that took place at the KFS Canteen is one among a series of ceremonies that begun with the Board negotiating and signing a performance contract with the government. 

The staff members were urged to live up to their contracts, so as to avoid taking the Service backwards in its mandate, and in so doing, improve its services to the public. She also requested that the various divisions, project offices and departments document all activities they have accomplished within the financial year. This she said, would remove doubts as to how much progress was being made in various projects and activities.

Mrs. Kiboi was on hand to oversee the ceremony and ensure all the present participants were awarded their contract certificates. 

Pictures and photos by Vicky Nyaga

Forest users Get Economical Boost

Forest users in Marakwet have received beehives worth shs. 280, 000,  in a bid to promote eco-friendly income generating activities.
The 40 modern beehives were presented to two groups from Marakwet East and West by the Green Zones development support project manager, Mr. Jerome Mwanzia at a ceremony held at Kaptabuk primary school in Marakwet West.
Mr. Mwanzia said that with the new approach of participatory forest management as envisaged by the Forest Act 2005, communities living near gazette government forests are assisted to come up with income generating activities that would ease pressure on demand for forest products such as firewood and timber.
He said that through the African Development Bank/GoK funded Green zones development support project, community initiatives such as use of biogas, solar energy and planting of high value trees such as gravelia and fruit trees are supported.
Mr. Mwanzia encouraged communities to join Community Forest Associations and put up tree nurseries and raise indigenous seedlings which they can sell to KFS to rehabilitate degraded forest and water catchment areas and exotic fast growing varieties for establishment of on farm woodlots.
Two schools to be assisted in establishing biogas projects for use in cooking and laboratory experiments are to be identified in either district.
The modern beehives can produce three harvests of honey per year if well managed, according to Mr. Hillary Koech, from the Christian Intermediate Technology Centre Kapsabet which manufactures them.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thank you and goodbye

Mrs. Alice Macaire speaks during a farewell party organised in her honour at Karura Forest Environmental Educationa Trust in Karura Forest

The KFS Director Mr. David Mbugua speaks at the same event
The KFS Board Chairman Prof. Richard Musangi presents a gift to the outgoing British High Commissioner Mr. Rob Macaire at his wife's farewell party
Mrs. Alice Macaire receives her gift from Mr. Onesmus Kiguna of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife
Friends forever. The Head of Nairobi Forest Conservancy Mrs. Charity Munyasya and Mrs. Macaire embrace at the party
Mrs. Macaire meets Ms. Wanjira Mathai, daughter oft the Late Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai who also graced the occasion
The Macaires pose for a picture together with Karura Scouts and other KFS offcers
The tour of duty for the British High Commissioner to Kenya Mr. Rob Macaire has come to an end. This should not mean much to a lot of people but to the Karura community, it is a rather sad occurrence. Because it means his wife, Mrs. Alice Macaire is also leaving. 

Mrs. Macaire or simply Alice as everyone in Karura calls her, is the very instrumental immediate former patron of Friends of Karura Forest and Chairman of the Karura Community Forest Association. Very instrumental because in the three years that she has been involved in the management of the forest, it has transformed from a criminal hide out to a place of tranquility where people go to unwind, meditate, pray and be one with nature. 

Karura used to be the dumping site for murder victims and stolen vehicles among other macabre crimes. But that was then. Now Karura Forest is a safe haven for hundreds of nature lovers. This is because due to Alice’s relentless efforts and mobilization capabilities, Karura Forest is now protected by an electric fence which according to the KFS Director Mr. David Mbugua has also helped to keep land grabbers out. 

Together with the Late Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai and other environmentalists, Alice helped in the establishment of the Karura Forest Environmental Education Trust (KFEET) situated in the forest. She also helped to mobilize the adjacent community who include residents of Muthaiga, Runda and Huruma slums to participate in the protection and management of the forest. To assist in patrols and safety of visitors, some youths from Huruma slums were enlisted as scouts to work with forest rangers in securing the forest. 

Thus at a farewell party organized by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) in her honour, speakers remembered their interaction with Alice in various forums to strategise how Karura forest will be secured. They each poured praise on her saying that she has left a legacy that will never be forgotten.
On her part, she emotionally thanked everyone who helped in making Karura Forest what it is today. “I will never forget Karura,” she said. 

Story and pictures by Leakey Sonkoyo