Ogiek Community in Nessuit is taking action! The community has partnered with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS)-a government agency mandated with the management of all public and private forests in the country, to adopt 240ha (approx. 600 acres) of degraded forest land for rehabilitation purposes. With the help of our partners, OPDP is facilitating the entire rehabilitation exercise which will see the community planting and nurturing indigenous trees in Nessuit Forest which is part of the larger Eastern Mau Forest, efforts geared towards reclaiming the glory of the Mau Forest.
The community-led initiative also serves to assert the traditional and historic role forest-dwelling indigenous communities have played in the conservation and management of forests. For a long time, this role has been undermined especially with a series of forceful evictions of the Ogiek from their ancestral land in Mau forest, and their denied access to forest resources in their territories. Despite such injustices, the community is still determined to work together with the government to conserve Mau Forest, this they say is for the benefit of the future generations.
Currently 20ha of land has been rehabilitated, with a total of 20,000 indigenous trees planted.15 Community Forest Scouts have been trained, and are closely working with KFS to monitor and respond to illegal deforestation and other illegal activities in and around Nessuit, Kiptunga and Logoman Forests.
Communities living in Nessuit have widely supported the initiative, which they say will restore an important water tower and in a huge way address drivers of deforestation in Mau Forest.