Community forest group awarded for conservation efforts

The Mwileshi Community Forest Association (CFA) has won an award for its outstanding work in conserving and protecting the Kakamega rainforest.

On 23rd June 2017 we were feted for being the best community group in tree growing and forest conservation in high rainfall areas in the country, in a ceremony that was graced by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) headquarters, said Sylvester Mambili, the group chairman.

Mambili stated that they planted trees on 100 hectares last year and another 75 hectares has so far been afforested this season.

The association, consisting of 30 members, is from Shinyalu Sub County and mainly dealt in exotic species, including eucalyptus, pine and cypress.

He stated that members raise seedlings in the nurseries in the forest which they then sell to KFS at Shs.5 each.

Through the Plantation Establishment for Livelihoods Improvement Scheme (PELIS) programme, the locals are allowed to plant food crops in the plantations as they weed the growing trees.

According to the County Ecosystem Conservator, Martin Mamati some 327 hectares have been cultivated under the PELIS initiative.

The Ecosystem Conservator said the ongoing logging in the forest is authorized, and they are only felling the exotic industrial plantations which once cleared, reforestation will be done.

Source: Kenya News Agency