Over 500 participants take part in The Forest Challenge

Over 500 participants take part in The Forest Challenge

Over 500 participants took part in The Forest Challenge 2019, an annual event organised to raise funds for the rehabilitation of Kenya’s water towers.

The event jointly organised by the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS), the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO) took place at Kereita Forest in Kiambu County on Saturday.

Kenya Forest Service Chief Conservator Julius Kamau graced the event also attended by Kiambu County Executive Member for Environment David Kuria as well as senior KFS officials and EAWL’s Executive Director Nancy Ogonje.

Mr. Julius Kamau flagged off the over 30 teams participating in The Forest Challenge – a run involving over 13 challenging obstacles through the woodland – currently in its sixth year since inception.

Participants, both individual and those from corporate sponsors of The Forest Challenge, waded
through mud pits and rivers, tumbled up and down slippery trails – all in the name of preserving and expanding, through afforestation, Kenya’s natural forests, many of which are the source of our country’s water supply.

Kenya’s forests are on a rapid decline. Deforestation is taking place at an alarming rate of 0.3% each year due to pressure from increased population, wood fuels, building material and other unsustainable land uses.

The Forest Challenge seeks to reverse this trend by increasing awareness on forest conservation while helping to protect and manage the degraded forests of Kenya’s critical water towers.

“To attain the 10 percent tree cover by 2022, one creative avenue for the service lies in forming partnerships with – among others – non-state actors, through tree planting initiatives that aim to spur a tree growing culture among our youth today," said the Kenya Forest Service Chief Conservator of Forests,” said Mr. Kamau.

“Our resolve and commitment to continue our efforts to conserve the environment for posterity has been reinforced further by the recent unfortunate landslide in West Pokot – a wakeup call for all of us to come together and try to mitigate such incidents by planting more trees, because when such a calamity occurs, we are all affected,” said Nancy Ogonje Executive Director, EAWLS.

With support from different corporates including UAP Old Mutual and Faulu, Safaricom PLC, Total as well as the Kiambu County Government, the Forest Challenge is making significant headway toward achieving its goal of reforesting 600 hectares of key water towers in Kenya.