Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve
Ngare Ndare is a forest reserve located in the northern participated in foothills of Mt. Kenya approximately 45 kilometres from Nanyuki. Lying in both Buuri and Laikipia districts, Ngare Ndare forest is the primary water source for River Ewaso Nyiro which serves adjacent communities, as well as the Northern Kenya conservancies. The forest is an important dry season feeding ground for elephants, black rhino, buffalo, bush buck, bush pig, water buck, and various predators. However, the Ngare Ndare forest cover has been depleted by the "shamba" system and overgrazing, resulting in depleted forest cover, increased risk of human - wildlife conflict and heightened security risk for endangered species.
The Safaricom Foundation has been supporting afforestation and reforestation in Ngare Ndare to contribute towards restoring the forest cover. The Foundation funded the development of 15 large tree nurseries, with a total of 1 million seedlings planted in farmlands around the forest, thereby actively engaging the local communities around the forest in the reforestation efforts. A team of 28 Safaricom staff spent two days in Ngare Ndare planting over 10,000 trees and making their contribution towards restoring the Ngare Ndare forest.
The output of indigenous tree nurseries under the Ngare Ndare Forest Trust (the implementing agent) has risen to 100,000. Community tree nurseries are up from 11 to 13 with the combined output from the additional 2 nurseries managed by the trust coming to 90,000 seedlings. A total of 16,400 indigenous tree seedlings were planted in the forest between April and May 2009while 34,000 seedlings were planted in the farmlands. Survival rate for the young trees was found to be between 85 and 90%. The vegetation that encroached the roads has since been cleared, while drainage systems away from the roads have been opened up. The communities around the forest are now more food secure, and there are relatively fewer cases of human-wildlife conflict. In addition, the Ngare Ndare Trust is in the process of constructing a culvert in Ngare Ndare to improve transport, while the nurseries continue to be managed and access roads maintained. In its efforts to become sustainable, the Ngare Ndare Forest Trust is constructing a 500 m canopy walkway that will give opportunity to tourists to walk through the canopy of the forest, this will be an added attraction to the other exciting things to do such as game viewing, camping, picnicking, trout fishing and rock climbing. With the support of the Safaricom Foundation, the Ngare Ndare Forest is making a contribution towards restoring Kenya's forest cover.