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Aberdare Fencing
Kees

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Posts: 106
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Oct 26th - 08:27

Posted: Sep 7 2009, 01:22 PM
Final Post of Rhino Ark Aberdare Fence driven into the ground
Twenty-one years after the late Ken Kuhle, Rhino Ark Founder, first raised ksh 250,000 to enable the Aberdare fence construction to begin, the final post in the near 400km of electrified fence was driven into the ground last Friday, 27 August. This marked the formal completion of one of Kenya’s most ambitious conservation initiatives.
The final post was placed by Hon. Noah Wekesa, Minister for Forestry and Wildlife at a ceremony attended by hundreds of forest edge farmers, along with Government officials and Rhino Ark donors.
Speaking at the event, Colin Church, Chairman of the Rhino Ark Management Committee, said “this is an historic moment for literally millions of Kenyans who are either benefiting from the stability that the fence has given the forest edge farmers, or the wider elements of society and those friends of Kenya abroad who, for over 21 years, have raised over ksh 750 million to see the fruition of this fence.”
He continued, “at this time of severe drought and considerable turbulence over indigenous forest conservation in the 4000 sq km Mau forest, the Rhino Ark fence is a beacon of hope and a proven management tool to ensure the Aberdares’ 2000 sq kms of vital water catchment, precious indigenous forest and irreplaceable flora and fauna, are better secured.
The project is a blue print for other threatened forest ecosystems in Kenya and the wider Eastern Africa and tropical Africa regions.”
Now the final post is planted, the priority is ensuring the long term management of the fence. It is here that the forest edge farmers who act as guardians to the indigenous forest inside will play a key role in monitoring the fence, planting indigenous trees, reporting illegal activities, developing forms of sustainable activity in their shambas and providing trained fence scouts who daily walk the fence and help manage it. Among the forest edge farmers at the ceremony were groups from Gatamayiu, Kekika and Kipipiri, all of whom have won the prestigious Michael Werikhe Award for services to conservation in the Aberdare ecosystem.
As well as the valuable support of the forest edge farmers, the long term management of the fence would be impossible without Rhino Ark’s dedicated fundraisers and donors.
At the top end, the realisation of the benefit of the fence as a management tool for Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has convinced the Kenyan Treasury to invest in the fence. To date over ksh 100 million (1,315,049.14 USD) has been provided for wire and posts via KWS and KFS.


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Kees Rookmaaker
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