It's day 5 of the Big Give Christmas Challenge and we are looking today at one of the most exciting developments in the 20 Million Trees campaign, the work being done by our partner Mount Kenya Trust on the northern side of the mountain.
What’s the Big Give? With the Big Give Christmas Challenge, for each £1 donated to 20 Million Trees, we receive £2! By donating here before Tuesday 5th December your donation can have double the impact. Thank you for your support.
Through our partnership with Mount Kenya Trust, farmers are earning incomes and improving their livelihoods while playing a vital part in the reforestation of northern Mount Kenya. This region has seen some of the most extreme deforestation in Kenya. Large areas of previously forested land are now degraded scrub and grassland, which are unlikely to regenerate naturally even over long periods. Mount Kenya Trust are using a promising method of restoration, known as TELIS (Tree Establishment Livelihood Improvement Scheme), to bring back the forest.
The farmers who take part in TELIS are allocated small parcels of land on the mountain to cultivate. In exchange, they plant rows of trees within their plots and care for them until the canopy begins to close. A new parcel of land is then allocated, gradually reforesting large areas of land.
Simon Kamuriu, one farmer taking part in the scheme, has already benefited from the increased income he makes from his plot. By selling the potatoes he grows, he has been able to pay for his children’s education, including university fees for three of them. He has also been able to buy two acres of land, where he keeps cattle and plans to build a house with this season’s profits.
Simon, who also forms part of the security team that protect the forest and the TELIS farms from damage by wildlife, loggers and poachers, highlights the project’s benefits:
“There has been a great economic impact for most people as well as a reduction in theft and other illegal activities within the forest. Most loggers, poachers and charcoal burners have been convinced to put their energy to use with lands to cultivate on and some have even volunteered to join the security team.”
By establishing many more TELIS plots, ITF hope to support Mount Kenya Trust to reforest almost 900 hectares of land in the north of Mount Kenya and to help over 1,000 farmers like Simon. Your donation can help us to rehabilitate this landscape and local ecosystem, while providing local people with a foundation for a better livelihood.
So, give yourself a reminder to visit the 20 Million Trees page on the Big Give before the 5th December and make a donation to have it doubled!