(L-R) EABL Corporate Relations Director Eric Kiniti, Chief Conservator of Forests, Kenya Forest Service, Julius Kamau & Nature Kenya Executive Director, Dr. Paul Matiku
East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has announced that it will donate Ksh. 8 million towards the restoration of two forests in Kenya. This is a second phase of their environmental conservation efforts in Mt. Kenya and Aberdares Forests.
The partnership will be through its its staff driven initiative, Kijani and will be in collaboration with Nature Kenya and Kenya Forest Service. Through the initiative, EABL aims to restore another 250 acres by planting 100,000 trees in the two forests.
EABL will engage Community Forest Associations (CFA’s) in Mt. Kenya and the Aberdares including Hombe, Kabaru, Naro Moru, Gathiuru, Ngare- Ndare, Kieni, Chuka, Irangi, Ontilili and Wanjerere, which have over 1,200 members each. Nature Kenya will also continue to monitor the trees for a period of three years to ensure maximum survival.
Speaking during the cheque handover event, EABL Group Corporate Director, Eric Kiniti said that reducing environmental impact is important for EABL as a business and is entrenched in their sustainability agenda.
“Environmental conservation is at the core of our business and is one of our key sustainability pillars. When we neglect our ecosystems, we not only destroy habitats for our wild and domestic animals, we make it harder for communities and businesses to operate. We therefore have to be more deliberate with our conservation and rehabilitation efforts”, Said Mr. Kiniti
“This is the second time that we are participating in the rehabilitation of the Mt. Kenya Forest. In partnership with Nature Kenya, we have been able to restore 250 acres of forest by planting 100,000 indigenous trees between 2017 and 2018. We have planted 67,000 trees in Hombe Forest Block, 23,000 in Kabaru, 2,000 in Naromoru Forest and 8,000 in Gathiuru Forest” he added.
So far, KBL has planted and nurtured over one million tree seedlings across the country with an 85% success rate.
Newly appointed Kenya Forest Service Chief Conservator of Forests, Julius Kamau, said that water towers across the country have been undergoing serious degradation and called on Kenyans to support the restoration of water catchments such as Mt Kenya and Aberdare Forests.
“Taking action to restore Mt. Kenya and The Aberdares is not a choice but an obligation. They provide fresh drinking water to over 2 million people. Over 70% of Kenya’s electricity is from hydropower, half of it generated from Tana River, which originates from these water towers. In essence, Mt. Kenya and The Aberdares are a crucial source of drinking water, food, electricity and jobs for millions of Kenyans,” said Mr. Kamau.
“Urgent action is needed. Down-stream water users including businesses, hydropower producers, crop farmers and water transfer companies need to provide incentives for upstream stakeholders and forest protectors to halt forest loss, restore degraded areas and promote sustainable land management and production. We commend companies like KBL who are actively involved in the restoration of water catchment areas,” he added.
Kenya Forest Service also presented EABL with an award for completing the first phase of the Mt. Kenya Forest Restoration Programme where their staff joined the communities in the area in planting 100,000 trees.
In Kenya, the forest cover stands at 7%, with the government seeking to achieve 10% by planting 450 million every year until 2022.