The Family Group Foundation has embarked on restoration of 10 acres within the Ngong Hills Forest ecosystem in Kajiado County through a partnership with Green Blue Foundation Africa.
The activities will provide employment of youth through restoration and conservation activities; fight desertification and climate change; conserve and enhance water availability; and develop and sustainably use natural resources for the benefit of local communities around the Ngong Hills Forest.
Speaking during the signing of the agreement Green Blue Foundation Africa President Bedan Mbugua said, “We have created and adopted the square meter restoration model that allows partners and individuals to adopt several square meters of the forest ecosystem for as little as KES 300 or USD 3 to go towards the rehabilitation of one square meter of forest land in tandem with President’s directive to accelerate attainment of 10% national tree cover by 2022.”
“We are already experiencing adverse effects of climate change evidenced by erratic weather patterns and severe natural disasters that have adversely affected the national economy. At a time when the world is focused on the Cop26 agenda, to restore stability, we must protect and restore our habitats. This begins when we support tree growing and restoration of forest landscapes to allow us to curb effects of carbon emission,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, it is estimated that the Ngong Hills Forest requires about a million trees to restore its forest cover. The Government has allocated Green Blue Foundation Africa 7,000 acres of land in the Ngong Forest area, a critical catchment area of major rivers in Kajiado County- Mbagathi River and Kiserian Stream. This is through the Adoption of Forest and Environmental Soldier Program that encourages the corporate and private sectors to support rehabilitation and conservation of forest blocks within public and community forests.
“We all have a part to play in sustainable living and supporting the ecosystem on which man heavily relies on. The Kenyan economy is dependent on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, water, energy, tourism, wildlife, and health, whose vulnerability is increased by climate change. For us to combat climate change, we must first restore the degraded areas of the forest ecosystem and promote afforestation and reforestation,” said Family Group Foundation Chairman Dr. Francis Muraya.
“We must also go a step higher. Through such partnerships, with Family Bank and the Green Blue Foundation Africa, we can ensure access to reliable, affordable and sustainable modern energy for all and support low carbon technologies to fuel economies while reducing greenhouse gases. This commitment is only the beginning of sustainable development of contributing to the national tree cover, impacting livelihoods of the communities around the forest and channeling finance flows consistent with low greenhouse gas emissions and promoting climate-resistant pathways,” he added.
Among the 47 counties in Kenya, Kajiado County has been experiencing extreme climate change and variability effects. The County’s Integrated Development Plan for 2018-2022, terms the effects as disasters which include drought, famine, flash floods, winds, forest degradation and environmental pollution. The county is an Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) characterized by prolonged periods of abnormally low rainfall and shortage of water. Crop failure was reported at more than 90% during the 2009 drought while livestock losses were in the excess of 70%.
The bank has committed KES 5 million for this partnership with Green Blue Foundation.