Successful conservation projects put people at the centre – whether it is rangers on the mountain or communities on the forest boundary. Only with community support can we continue our work, and MKT has worked hard over the past two decades to build long term, sustainable and trusted partnerships with the communities on Mt Kenya. This also includes the sustainable use of water. Many river systems originate in the water tower of Mount Kenya, but climate changes and increasing population and settlement have led to the intensive use of, competition for, and conflict over existing water resources. In addition, limited water storage capacity within the catchments are insufficient to meet the demand for water, particularly during extended dry periods. Down steam users suffer as rivers dry up.
We offer mobile clinics and door-to-door services for remote communities in Meru, Embu, Kirinyaga and Tharaka-Nithi Counties. Our clinics and community-based distributors provide free family planning, primary health care, HIV testing, counselling and cancer screening to over 1,500 patients per month.
We reach 20,000 children per year with conservation messages on the importance of the mountain ecosystem. We organise children’s visits to the mountain with the Kenya Wildlife Service, provide reading materials to schoolchildren (including our own Mount Kenya Ecology booklet) and show environmental films.
We help schools establish tree nurseries and woodlots to grow their own fuel and reduce the pressure of wood supply from the forest. Schools have halved their energy bills and revenue from selling seedlings has been used to build gates or buy textbooks. These projects also encourage students to nurture and plant their own seedlings in the school grounds or in their homes, and to be self-sufficient in their own energy supply.
ENERGY SAVING STOVES
We provide schools with energy saving stoves (jikos) that use less wood and hold more heat, to reduce their fuel bills and reduce pressure on the natural forest for firewood. The jikos are cleaner and emit less smoke, which is better for cooks’ health and the nutrition of the pupils.
COMMUNITY WATER PROJECTS
Water Resource Users Associations are community groups mandated to look after the watercourses in their region. Many of these groups are under-resourced and we help to provide support through equipment such as water tanks or guttering or technical advice.
MT KENYA EWASO WATER PARTNERSHIP
Driven by its motto, ‘Maji yetu, Jukumu letu’ (Our water, Our responsibility), MKT work closely with the Mount Kenya-Ewaso Water Partnership (MKEWP) which was launched in 2016 to address water related risks in the Upper Ewaso Ng’iro North Catchment. MKEWP provides a platform to address challenges regarding water allocation and use management, water resource infrastructure development and institutional capacity in the catchment.