In 2014, East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) in partnership with Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO) pioneered an annual forest event dubbed ‘‘The Forest Challenge’’. The event gives participants an excellent and unique opportunity to interact with nature by taking part in competitive yet fun activities in Kereita-Aberdare forest. The key objective of The Forest Challenge (FC) event is to raise funds for the rehabilitation and restoration of key water catchment forests in Kenya. The event was inspired by the need to recover lost forest coverage which is as a result of massive deforestation, that has led to devastating state of reduced water quantity and quality that is essential for life and sustenance of biodiversity and livelihoods.
The event is designed to rally support and participation from government, private sector institutions, civil societies, communities and individuals to collaboratively and innovatively contribute towards forest restoration activities in an attempt to achieve the constitutional target of at least 10% forest cover in the Kenya. The health of our water towers is essential to the good health of our nation and all industries directly or indirectly depend on sustainable supply of fresh water emanating from forest water catchments. When the quantity and quality supply of this water is threatened, as is the case, then our businesses and well-being is also threatened as is the case, then our businesses and well-being is also threatened
For example, we are witnessing today that deforestation in the upstream Maasai Mau Forest water catchment has greatly affected the supply of water feeding into the Mara and Ewaso Ngiro rivers which are drying up, hence threatening the survival of wildlife ecosystems in the Mara that have for years been an attraction to tourists who contribute immensely to our GDP and provide livelihood support to thousands of Kenyans. By supporting this event, you will not only be indirectly supporting sustainability of our economy, but will also be demonstrating your commitment towards achieving environmental sustainability and forest stewardship.
The overall objective of the Forest Challenge is to contribute to the conservation and restoration of at least 600 hectares of key water towers in Kenya within ten years while promoting and supporting local communities through:
Tree growing activities for forest restoration of key water towers
Establishment of tree seedling nurseries and management of forests through Community Forest Associations (CFAs) and Kenya Forest Service. (KFS)