The Mau Eburu Forest is just one forest, representing more than 40 percent of Kenya’s entire forest cover. The systematic encroachment and destruction has made it a patchwork of 22 reserves or under 25 percent of the country’s forest cover.
When the Kenya Forest Service mapped the Reserve in 2009, it is estimated that 2,031 hectares of the still volcanically active Eburu, had been degraded. Extensive illegal activities like cedar logging, charcoal burning, uncontrolled grazing as well as increased human settlement had decimated it.
M-PESA Foundation provided a grant of Ksh. 155 million to the fencing project. According to the Foundation’s Executive Director Les Baillie, this was the largest sum they had ever donated for a single programme. “M-PESA Foundation’s contribution showed how important it was to protect Eburu.
The partnership with the local community has led to the adoption of a conservation-based education curriculum in all the 32 schools in Eburu since January 2014. The communities are now able to pursue their agricultural and economic practices without fear from the forces of destruction of the forest.