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

No comments:

Post a Comment