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Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Association of Manufactures roll out the Nairobi GreenLine Project
Date Published: 10 Jun, 2010
Caption: The KWS Board of Trustees Chairman , Hon. David Mwiraria and Dr. James Njogu, KWS Head of Conventions join the human greenline initiative at the Nairobi National Park’s East gate.
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in conjunction with the Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM) and other like-minded partners on Saturday June 5, 2010 embarked on a tree planting exercise at the Nairobi National Park, which is part of an ongoing conservation initiative dubbed the “Nairobi GreenLine Project”.
The Sh35 million project aims to plant 250,000 trees from the park’s Cheetah Gate in Athi River to Carnivore Restaurant on Lang’ata Road, creating a 30-km long, 50-metre wide forest of indigenous trees to shield the park from the fast-growing metropolis. The event, which coincided with the World Environment Day, culminated in the formation of a 3,500 man, 7Km strong human greenline chain stretching along the park’s edge.
The park’s delicate ecosystem has over the years been exposed to massive environmental risks due to human settlements and other activities. The money raised will be used to cover the cost of trenching, soil preparation, fencing, sinking boreholes, piping, planting tree nurseries, irrigation, seedling transportation and labour.
Forestry and Wildlife Assistant Minister, Hon. Josphat Nanok, thanked the various partners for taking a leading role in an initiative that will be vital in managing and conserving our environment. “There is a need to come-up with an effective strategy to protect our ecosystem, which provides us with economic and social benefits. The effects of climate change are here with us and therefore protecting our environment for future generations is vital,” he said.
KWS Director, Mr Julius Kipng’etich, said rising incidents of pollution to the park, human encroachment and human-wildlife conflict will soon be a thing of the past with the launch of the Nairobi GreenLine project. He added that KWS intends to make the park a major tourist attraction by allowing travellers on transit to visit the park as they await connection flights.
Speaking at the event, the GreenLine Steering Committee Chairman, Mr. Anoop Shah lauded the various partners, volunteers and stakeholders for their unreserved support in making this project a success. “The drawing of this line symbolises the start of a long partnership with KWS which is expected to go a long way in protecting and conserving this vital ecosystem for posterity, “he said.
The government in conjunction with the private sector are expected to embark on a series of countrywide tree planting events as they aim to increase the country’s forest cover from the current 2 per cent to 4 per cent by 2012.
The first national park to be gazetted in 1946 to curb the then poaching problem, the Nairobi National Park is Kenya’s and East Africa’s oldest crown jewel famed for its endangered black rhino population. Other major wildlife attractions include the lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, buffaloes, Giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, elands and diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded. Other attractions include the Ivory Burning Site Monument, Nairobi Safari Walk, the Orphanage and walking trails at the hippo pools.