KFS Director Mr. Emilio Mugo handing over PFMP to Chairman Menengai Community Forest Association Mr. Ng’ang’a, looking on are MCFA secretary Mr. John Githinji, Treasurer Jane Wangare and KFS’ John Macharia
H.E. Kinuthia Mbugua, Governor Nakuru County Commissioning Menengai forest rehabilitated site, with him are EU representative Mr. Klaus D Gautsch, Mr. Joseph Ruhiu, CEF Manager, CDTF Pragram Coordinator Mr. Thomas Yatich
MENENGAI PARTICIPATORY FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN (PFMP)
Menengai forest has a Participatory Forest Management Plan (PFMP). The PFMP process is a creation of the Forest Act 2005 this plan is being implemented through a Plan Implementation Committee (PIC) composed of six (6) anchor stakeholders mainly:
- 1. Kenya Forest Service (KFS)
- 2. Menengai Community Forest Association (MCFA)
- 3. Geothermal Development Company (GDC)
- 4. County Government
- 5. Academia
- 6. National Government Administrative Office (NGAO)
The forest area is about 6,000Ha including the crater where GDC is developing steam wells for green power generation. The forest is an urban forest neighboring the following wards: London of Nakuru Town West Sub County, Menengai West of Rongai Sub County, Menengai East and Kiamaina of Nakuru Town East Sub County.
Key Features of Menengai Forest
Menengai Forest is a mountainous urban forest located about three kilometers from the central business district of Nakuru town. It was gazetted as a forest in the 1930s. It is managed by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and it falls under the Nakuru KFS Ecosystem Conservator, within the Mau Conservancy. It has an altitude of between 1900 – 2300 Metres above Sea Level. The forest and its environs is surrounded by a ring road covering a distance of about 53Km and an area of 12,000 hectares or 30,000 acres.
The main tree species in the forest are Eucalyptus and Acacia. These species were selected because of their ability to rejuvenate after forest fires. Over 169 species of flowering plants and 17 species of grasses have been recorded in Menengai Forest. Examples of flowering plants include Leleshwa (Tarconanthus camphorates), Euphorbia species and Acacia species. Common grasses in the forest include geothermal grass (Fibristylis exilis) and Boma Rhode grass.
There are mammals, birds and insects. Mammal species include Tree hyrax, Rock hyrax, Olive baboons, Black-faced Vervet monkey, Mountain Reedbucks, Kirk’s Dik diks and Slender Mongoose. Birds species include Varreaux eagles (only found in Menengai Forest in Nakuru) Abyssiinian Ground Hornbill, Lesser Spotted Eagle, African Marsh Harrier, Horus Swift Apus hours, Turn-tailed ravens, Red-winged Sterling and other birds. Insects in Menengai Forest include Arachnids, Molluscs and various species of butterflies.
The services provided by MCFA
- 1. Fire control
- 2. Community scouts
- 3. General forest protection
- 4. Ecotourism related activities
Forest benefits to the surrounding community
The forest is a water tower and around its base, there several boreholes which supply water to the communities. Other benefits include:
- -Ecosystem cleaning
- -Livelihood support through hey availability for their livestock
- -Renewable energy in form of fire wood
- -Livelihood encroachment of the forest (Uncontrolled grazing of livestock, charcoal burning, tree cutting for building and firewood)
- -Forest fires
- -Illegal Hunting
Priority action for the Plan Implantation Committee (PIC)
Given the above challenges; the first priority for Plan Implementation Committee (PIC) is to secure the forest through conservation fencing.
MENENGAI FOREST PLAN IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE (PIC)
Menengai Forest Plan Implementation Committee (PIC) during the 1st PIC meeting. From left; Amos Maina (MCFA), Stephen Kirimire (County Government), Grace Karanja (County Government), John Githinji (MCFA), Prof. Mary Kariuki(Academia), Maureen Kibiwott (CDTF Human seed resource), Senior Chief Nduati (NGAO), Charles Ng’ang’a (PIC Chairman), Gabriel Wetangula (GDC), Peter Mugo (LANAMEDUBA Secretary), James Irungu (KFS), Dionice Kimeli (CDTF Seed Human resource), Sylvester Macodero (Ass. E.C KFS) and Jane Kariuki (MCFA)