Let’s talk about conservation; let’s have a conversation about it. This is what we did with the team at the Oloolua Community Forest Association (CFA) who are passionate about creating awareness regarding Nairobi’s green space.
Oloolua Forest, as CFA reveals, is an important wildlife refuge and biodiversity hotspot. Considered a lung for Nairobi, it covers 618 hectares and is home to a significant acreage of indigenous trees. The forest is part of the larger Ngong Forest block which also comprises Ngong Hills and Kibiko Forest. It provides a habitat to a variety of wildlife (including small antelopes and other mammals such as hyena and the occasional leopard).
Like most forests, Oloolua is under threat from human activities. Quarrying, encroachment as well as development of major roads and the SGR through the heart of the forest put it at the brink of deforestation. This has sparked the need to have the forest fenced in a bid to prevent further fragmentation and loss of green space.
Statistics reveal that we are losing 5,000 hectares of forest cover per year in Kenya. This translates to an economic loss of over USD 90 million.
The CFA has taken up the initiative to protect and conserve the remaining Oloolua Forest by fencing it in two phases. This initiative is informed by the successful example of the Karura Forest Environmental Management Plan. They plan to involve all surrounding communities including Gataka, Embulbul, Karen and Olkeri. Employing forest scouts will provide livelihoods for members of this community. Moreover, it aligns the forest’s interests with theirs through a sense of ownership. A great deal of training will be done to ensure sufficient empowerment in safeguarding the forest.
If you haven’t visited the Oloolua Nature Trail, here are some unique features about the forest:
- 33-foot MauMau cave
- Picnic sites
- Bicycle riding trails
- Walking trails also suitable for pets
- Hiking and running trails for nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts
As CFA strives to create a green, safe, versatile and recreational space for Nairobi, we hope that you are also playing a role in ensuring the sustainability of our green spaces for future generations.
You can support them via www.gofundme.com/oloolua
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org