A women-centred project working in one of the most deforested countries in Africa and restoring a critical water catchment for Kenya's people.
International Tree Foundation (ITF)
Foothills of Mt Kenya in the Irangi Forest
Located in the foothills of Mount Kenya, this project aims to reforest and restore a vital water catchment that delivers an estimated 40% of the country's water and gathers communities around rehabilitating their forests and agricultural lands. While only 7% of Kenya is covered by trees, making it one of Africa's countries most affected by deforestation, its forests are crucial for wildlife, freshwater resources, and the materials they provide to local people. Kenya's rural communities heavily depend on forests for their livelihoods. Yet, with increased demand for wood for domestic and industrial uses, land development, settlements, and cultivation, Mount Kenya's forests are threatened with extinction.
Hectares of forest planted
Habitats of critically endangered black rhinoceros and leopards
Trees to plant per year
"Restoration of our forests is a collective responsibility. Trees are crucial to our living. Without trees we have no rain. We starve."
Jacinta Karoki - beneficiary - Kithoka Belt.
IMPACT ON NATURE.
East African montane forests are classified as critically threatened with extinction. Without its mountainous rainforests and perennial ice and snow, Kenya would become a desert. The project aims to rehabilitate 105 hectares each year into a semi-natural forest with tree species composition to levels approximating native forests at similar altitudes in Mount Kenya.
By shifting towards agroforestry on communities' lands, this project aims to reduce pressure on the existing forest, restore semi-natural forests & plant crucial trees on farmlands. This approach also helps protect critically endangered species like the black rhinoceros and leopard and supports African elephants by protecting and restoring their habitats.
Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa and holds immense cultural value. Rich biodiversity exists on the doorstep of dense populations and poverty, and daily threats to the forests and wildlife are inevitable and complex. TreeSisters have been supporting this project since 2016, as it consistently evolves to meet the needs of the landscape and communities.
TreeSisters funding currently supports reforestation in three locations: Magaca (Irangi Forest) and Maranga (Magaca Forest) in Embu County and Upper Imenti (Upper Imenti Forest) in Meru County. These sites have been decimated through a combination of human settlements, farming and inappropriate forest management practices, including illegal logging.