Climate warning
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Kenya Forest Service

Climate warning

Poverty-fueled deforestation threatens Kenya’s largest water catchment

Poverty-fueled deforestation threatens Kenya’s largest water catchment by Keit Silale on 22 August 2022 Mau Forest is East Africa’s largest native montane forest and Kenya’s largest water catchment. Olpusimoru Forest Reserve is one of Mau Forest’s protected areas, but its forest cover has been greatly reduced by logging, fuelwood collection and other poverty-driven human pressures. Beginning in 2018, thousands of families that had established themselves inside the forest reserve’s boundaries were evicted by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, part of a wider push that saw more than 30,000 people evicted from the broader Mau Forest Complex. Despite government intervention and civil society initiatives to assuage poverty in the region, signs of fresh logging, charcoal burning and overgrazing are evident in Olpusimoru Forest Reserve. OLENGURUONE, Kenya ­— Mau Forest covers some 2,700 square kilometers (1,042 square miles) in western Kenya, making it the largest native montane forest in East Africa. The forest is also Kenya’s largest water catchment area and feeds several lakes, including Lake Victoria. But Mau Forest is shrinking as its trees fall to human pressures. Even Mau’s protected areas are not immune. One of these is Olpusimoru Forest Reserve, which has been facing high rates of deforestation as people cut down trees for timber and fuelwood collection

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  • Tabitha Kimani

    83 w

    Ooom my. Why wont the relevant bodies be serious. Where is our president because he cant say we plant trees while others are cutting them

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