Taita Hills forest losing biodiversity hotpots at alarming rate, says Kefri researchers
By Renson Mnyamwezi
| February 20th 2019
The Taita Hills forest has lost at least 233 hectares of forest cover in the past 40 years, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (Kefri) has said.
The county's forest cover currently stands at 4 per cent, which is far below the 10 per cent international threshold.
The institute has attributed the loss to uncontrolled and illegal human activities in the forests and hills that are home to various species of wildlife and serve as a major water catchment area.
“The forest cover in the five major fragments is changing over time. In the last 40 years, the Taita Hills forest has lost about 23.2 per cent of its cover, translating to 0.5 per cent every year,” said Chemuku Wekesa, who is in charge of the Kefri's Taita-Taveta Research Centre.
According to Dr Wekesa, Chawia, Ngangao, Mwambirwa, Fururu and Mbololo forests have so far lost at least 233 hectares since 1973.
Speaking during a farmers' field day at Mazoloa Primary School in Mwatate sub-county yesterday, Wekesa said Kefri had started repairing damaged sections of the forest.
He disclosed that Kefri was rehabilitating up to 20 hectares on the hills and was mobilising residents and schools to join in the efforts.
“We have recommended key indigenous tree species to be planted for land regeneration purposes,” he said
Wekesa said the forest and hills served as the main water tower for the region and their continued destruction would impact negatively on local communities. He warned that the destruction had seen a number of rivers dry up.
Mwatate sub-county Kenya Forest Service officer Rua Kalama pledged to support the rehabilitation plan.
“We fully support Kefri's help improve the state of local forests," he said.
Education is meant to give us a usable skill and not necessarily a jobA bachelor’s degree has become so insignificant in Kenya today since almost every graduate has a master’s degree.
Opening Ceremony: Kenya takes her pride of place as 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games beginTeam Kenya Paralympics strolled majestically into the Tokyo Olympic Stadium led by captain Rodgers Kiprop and Powerlifter Hellen Wawira for the Openin
Kenyans react after Arimis ‘new design’ goes viral
By Betty Njeru
- 7 ways to avoid a ‘Baba Gloria’ moment on WhatsApp
- 'Sudi’s KIM diploma has Adm. No. of Scholastica Achieng and Serial No. of Elkana Kimutai'
By Paul Ogemba
- I don't mind competition, Ngirici reacts to Waiguru's defection
- Kakamega bishop gifted car by DP Ruto in September dies
- Nakuru mother seeks help after school bins son’s ‘unhealthy’ lunch box
By Daniel Chege