MKEC began as a self-help group called Save Mt Kenya Forest from Extinction, formed by youths in Kenya’s Tharaka Nithi County in 2007. The group was formed in response to the threat of deforestation in and around the Mt Kenya Forest and came together with a common goal of planting trees on community, school, and forest land. The organisation expanded and registered as an NGO covering five counties in the Mt. Kenya Region: Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri and Kirinyaga in 2015.
MKEC now supports communities not only with tree planting programmes but also with livelihood improvement projects such as education in sustainable farming and using energy saving cooking stoves to ensure the sustainable reforestation of Mount Kenya Forest. MKEC has already participated in the planting of 1.5 million trees in degraded areas of the Mt Kenya Forest and in community farms. It also has a track record of mobilizing community groups to undertake reforestation and agroforestry activities. 20,000 people have already been trained in agro-forestry techniques, tree nursery establishment and management; seed collection, treatment, storage and germination; and environmental conservation awareness. MKEC also supports local schools in tree planting initiatives. The organisation has the support of both the Kenya Forest Service and the local administration.
ITF has been supporting MKEC since 2011 to implement tree planting projects with local community groups. MKEC is now a key ITF partner, spearheading our Centenary Campaign 20 Million Trees for Kenya’s Forests.