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Fencing Menengai Forest for Regeneration and Ecotourism

Fencing Menengai Forest for Regeneration and Ecotourism

Nakuru

Tuesday April 9, 2024

KNA by Anne Sabuni

Menengai Forest on the outskirts of Nakuru City will be fenced off to pave way for its regeneration and position it as an ecotourism cite.

Chief Conservator of Forest Mr. Alex Lemarkoko, noted that the regeneration of the 6, 200 ha forest will allow conducive clean air for the growing urban population in the city, while securing its boundaries against encroachers and land grabbers.

“This forest has suffered degradation of its vegetation owing to the poor population that surrounds it, which relies on it for grazing, firewood, and building materials.

“Securing its boundary will allow it to naturally regenerate, attracting birds and other animals that will position it as an ecotourism destination,” noted Lemarkoko.

Lemarkoko noted that the 55KM fence, would be funded to a tune of Shs.156 million through an African Development Bank loan, extended through the Green Zones Project.

“We are creating an environment that will allow the residents of Nakuru to enjoy nature based recreational activities, while opening it up for the Community Forest Association members to also benefit given the user rights that they have, for farming, beekeeping, fishing and other economic activities as they allow for conservation,” added the Chief Concervator.

Lemarkoko regretted that the forest had, in the past been used as criminal’s hideouts, with people being killed elsewhere and dumped in the forest.

Menengai crater and view point has also witnessed scores of suicide cases owing to its sharp cliff.

“We are now going to witness a turn-around in the security of this forest. Like Karura, which is now secure and revitalized, we will enjoy increased security and have a place where everyone wants to visit,” added Lemarkoko.

The conservator cautioned against any encroachment noting that the bacons and GPS coordinates will be utilized to drive out anyone sitting on forest land.

The forest, whose largest part is currently under geothermal power generation, with the Geothermal Development Corporation, positions itself as the largest urban ecological zone in Africa, with its revitalization meant to place it on the map for ecotourism.

“We are also looking forward to making the nature trails more visible and accessible for persons visiting the caves, as well as having a children recreational park that will make it a one stop tourist destination for local and international tourists,” remarked Joel Mungai, who owns a curio shop at the crater’s view point cliff.

Menengai, that sits to the north of the city after Milimani estate, has its parts expanding into Nakuru East, Bahati, Subukia, Rongai and Nakuru West Constituencies allowing for the natural habitats.

Courtesy; KNA

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