Division of Early Warning and Assessment

Eastern and south West Mau forest

Shrinking forests of Kilimanjaro Eastern and South West Mau forest reserves are the largest forest blocks of the Mau Forest Complex.

These two forests are critical catchment areas for Lake Nakuru, a globally important wetlands enlisted as a Ramsar Site, and for the Sondu River where the Sondu Miriu Hydro-Power Plant is being built to increase the country capacity by 60 MW.

Despite their importance, the forests of the Mau Complex have been heavily impacted by official forest excisions, in particular in 2001, as well as by illegal, irregular and unplanned settlements. The forest blocks most affected by the 2001 excisions are Eastern Mau Forest Reserve and South West Mau Forest Reserve where 35,301 ha and 22,797 ha respectively were excised representing 54.3 % and 27.3 % of their total area.

In line with the new Government’s policy to increase Kenya’s forest cover and to protect and rehabilitate catchment areas, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Kenya Forests Working Group decided to assess the current situation in these two forest blocks in order to advise the Government on possible options to recover critical forested catchment areas.

With funding from the European Union’s Biodiversity Conservation Programme and technical support from the Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing, the assessment took place from December 2005 to May 2006.

The main findings of the assessment are reflected in this presentation. They highlight options for the Government to recover critical forested catchments.



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