Since 2016, Ogiek People’s Development Program(OPDP) has engaged in protection and conservation of 20 hectares of Logoman Forest, one of the blocks in the Eastern section of the Mau Forest Complex. This achievement has been made possible through a tripartite partnership involving OPDP,Kenya Forest Service(KFS) and Logoman Community Forest Association(CFA), out of which an association of youth from the Ogiek community was formed under the identity ‘Logoman Forest Scouts’, the young men who have put a lot of effort and time in ensuring the forest is free from further destruction. The scouts have been trained on management of forest fires and participatory management of the natural resources. It is through this transfer of knowledge and information that the scouts have successfully managed to control the fires occurring in the forest and mobilizing for the community support in rehabilitating the 20 hectares of the Logoman forest. With support from OPDP, the scouts have led the local community in planting 10,000 indigenous trees in the 20 hectares in Logoman Forest. Increasingly, the local community has felt the impact of their activities and continues to praise them. On greater terms, Kenya Forest Service(KFS) appreciates the input of the scouts in reinforcing its forest guards’ efforts of monitoring forest activities including illegal logging and charcoal burning as well as fires. OPDP has provided them with uniforms and boots and a monthly stipend for appreciation of their efforts. However, more support is needed to ensure sustainability of their services.
OPDP continues to strengthen the scouts’ capacities in efforts to enhance delivery of their forest conservation and management services. On March 1 and 2,2018, the scouts were taken through a refresher training in Nakuru, further encouraging them to maintain their zeal in protecting the Mau Forest ecosystem.OPDP has collaborated with KFS in this regard to broaden their understanding on their roles and responsibilities in forest protection; monitoring and reporting; their privileges and limits as well as their accountability to KFS.Taking cognizance of sustaining their noble work,OPDP has assisted the scouts to start tree nurseries where they nurture indigenous trees for sell. This would enable them earn an income and maintain a strong linkage with protection of the forest.
Expanding the scope
This year, OPDP brought in more scouts from Mariashoni and Kiptunga areas.They now join the Logoman scouts in playing the crucial role of protecting Mau Forest from further degradation.