FORUM FOCUS 1511 - page 4-5

grass is themain problem causing
conflict and no one is giving us quick
solutions.
RobertPiroris
MembersofGathiuruCommunityForestAsso-
ciation (CFA) are quickly making a name for
themselves as being themost proactive protec-
tors of forests in Kenya. They have over the
years successfully demonstrated what Partici-
patory Forest Managementis all about, and are
often a point of reference during discussions
with other CFA’s in Nyeri and surrounding
counties.
With 4, 000 members and growing, Gathiu-
ru CFAworks closely with the Kenya Forest
Service (KFS) to conserve and protect 14,
985 hectares of forest while benefitting from
the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood
Scheme (Pelis) which was created by the For-
est Act of 2005 to replace the shamba system
that had greatly contributed to the destruction
of forests.
TheAct also addresses the formation of CFA’s
andhow they interactwithKFS throughPartic-
ipatoryForestManagement, andallows for for-
est farming which has benefitted communities
significantly.
Protecting forests in Kenya is far from easy,
and support from stakeholders has ensured that
GathiuruCFA can continue to implement vari-
ous conservation activities.
LWFPartnershipwithGathiuruFor-
est
Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) has worked
closelywithGathiuruCFAover theyears, help-
ing them develop and implement forest man-
agement plans. On 22nd October 2015, LWF,
with the support fromUSAID, handed over 80
brand new scout uniforms that will see these
protectors of the forest uniformed to carry out
their duties. “Conservation knows no boundar-
ies, as clearly seen inGathiuru forest which is
part of the largerMt. Kenya ecosystem.
The water towers here support many ecosys-
tems and thuswemust do allwe cando topro-
tect these catchment areas as well as forest ar-
eas. These uniforms handed over to the scouts
will allow them to implement theirduties in full
recognitionof thepublic andgive them abetter
sense of authority “says LWFProgrammesOf-
ficerMr. JosephMusyima.
Intervention fordeforestation
Deforestation inGathiuru forest has seen forest
cover reduce significantly over the past decade
and it has taken the intervention of local com-
munity members, local administration, KFS,
various stakeholders and scouts to change the
situation. Since 2012, LWF has
been engagingwith the Gathiuru scouts which
has led to the increase of numbers within the
CFA and allowing benefits gained from forest
farming toflourish.
During the 22ndOctober function, KFSDepu-
tyCommandant of theCentral HighlandsCon-
servancy,Mr.Wilson Leleboo, urgedmembers
of thecommunity to takepride in thenatural re-
sources available to them and encouraged them
to assist the scouts in protecting the forest by
beingdiligent inpinpointing those engaging in
illegal forest activi
ties in order to successfully protect Gathiuru
forest.
Scoutsuniformed toprotectGathiuruForest
Voiceof themembership
With the support ofUSAID,
LWFhanded over80brand
new scout uniforms thatwill
see theseprotectors of the
forest uniformed to carry
out theirduties
.
What isyour takeon theanticipatedElNinoasapastoralist and the
availabilityof grassasasourceof peace?
We wish that it could rain even
for a day, lack of grass has dete-
riorated our land, health of
animals and people here.
Mr. Lentula
The government should buy us
hay instead of telling us about El
Nino.
JosephNang’uye
We have been experiencing severe
drought inDolDol, lackof grassmeans
no peace
Chief Maxwell
The human wildlife conflicts
are caused by lack of pasture,
the government should employ
scouts to control them.
SepeikaMilton
The onlyElNinowe have experi-
enced is scorching sun, we spend
timewith all sorts ofwildlife
because there is no pasture.
SumatShukunai
As pastoralistwe have not pre-
pared for ElNino because I be-
lieve the prediction is inaccurate
so far
.
ParikeliKerenge
Absence of grass andwater is a source
of conflict here, sometimes communi-
ties invade ranches to feed livestock.
LekuyeJosphat
We have not experienced rain
sinceApril. Thiswill definitely
contribute to conlicts over graz-
ing andwater.
Mr. Letai
If grass was therewewould not
experience any conflicts with
ranchers and wildlife. It is their
main food.
Makodisho
Without rain, we have no
option but to ask our neighbors
for grass constantlywhich is a
bother.
CharlesMepukori
As Maasai, we usually look at
the morning stars to predict the
weather;
GregoryOleKinyaga
Tohavepeace,wehaveacommu-
nity agreement within and with
ranchers so that we can graze in
the dry seasons.
JohnShuel
JosephatMusyima, LWF’sDirectorofPro-
grammes, plants a tree inGathiuru fores
t
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