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.
Did you know that 50% of the world’s population rely on trees and forests to filter high-quality water?
The link between forests and water resources is well recognised in Kenya where our 20 Million Trees Campaign is taking place. Trees provide valuable services in regulating water flows. Healthy living soils covered by vegetation act as a filter which ensures rainwater entering streams and rivers is clean and free from contaminants. Tree roots also stabilise soils, preventing soil erosion and reducing the risk of landslides.
On farms and in natural ecosystems, trees mitigate the effects of drought by drawing up deep-stored groundwater through their roots and putting moisture into the environment. Rainforests have even been shown to make their own rain through transpiration.
The 5 highland forests known as Kenya’s ‘Water Towers’ provide 75% of its renewable water resources. “More than nine rivers originate from the Mount Kenya forest, and all of them feed into the largest Kenyan river,” explains Julian, a project manager with our partner Mount Kenya Environmental Conservation (MKEC). This river, the Tana, is used by millions for everyday water use, as well as vital irrigation and hydro-electricity.
But Kenya’s forests have suffered from rampant deforestation in the past. Today, Kenya is one of the least forested countries in Africa, with only 7% tree cover. “I think that when the trees were there, the rain was enough. But now the rain is inadequate,” says Esther Nyaga, a Mount Kenya farmer, speaking of her experience of deforestation on Mount Kenya. When droughts occur, deforested areas are quickly affected by dry soils and dying vegetation, making them highly vulnerable to soil loss and affecting agricultural yields.
20 Million Trees for Kenya’s Forests aims to protect and restore the Water Tower forests by working with the communities who live among them. Local people understand the value of protecting and planting more trees, as their livelihoods depend on them.
Help to protect Kenya’s freshwater resources, for people, animals and ecosystems: donate to 20 Million Trees through the Big Give Christmas Challenge today and have your donation doubled!