THE Rhino Ark executive director Christian Lambrechts has said plans to put in place an electric fence around the two major towers at the cost of Sh1.1 billion are almost complete.
Speaking yesterday during the flagging off of a relay run at Aberdare Forest by the Rhino Ark patron Charles Njonjo, Lambrechts said Mt Kenya Forest needs Sh1 billion to fence 400 kilometers which will take about five years. He said most of the funds for the project are available after the government promised to release Sh100 million.
The project involves Rhino Ark, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service and the local community. The funds have been raised from donors, the Rhino Ark and the government. "I am optimistic that the work will be complete within five years in Mt Kenya forest despite the challenges of a heavy terrain, deep valleys and resistance from some members of the community. Mt Kenya forest earns the country about Sh56 billion per year. We must fence it to conserve the flora and fauna," he said.
Mt Kenya forest is a major water tower with its rivers draining into River Tana whose water is used for hydro power. The forest touches part of Embu, Chuka, Chogoria, Timau, Nanyuki, Narumoru and Ragati among other areas. This will end the human /wildlife conflict and boost food production in the area. It will also raise the value of land in the area.
Meanwhile, Mau Eburu Forest which is part of the Mau Forest needs a 50km fence and will be fenced soon at a cost of more than Sh100 million. Eighteen months will be enough to complete the fencing. Others present during the function were Lord Aberdare, Rhino Ark chairman Colin Church, area DC Abdi Mohammed and KWS official Paul Mbugua.