Hotel businesses in the county’s busy towns are equally
supported with charcoal supplied from the forest.
"I usually buy charcoal from Mau and it is good.
"A 90kg bag goes for a price ranging between 11.32 dollars to
13.20 dollars," said Emily Nkastha who runs a cafeteria in
Nkatha said she requires four bags of the charcoal every
month to run her business smoothly.
While the demand for the carbon fuel remains high in the
country, the concern over shifting the masses to alternative
sources continues to be part of the environmental discussions
between the State and the corresponding development partners.
According to Cosmas Ikiugu, the head of the Mau Conservancy,
the state is engaging all the stakeholders including the local
communities in forestry conservation.
"If we allow the destruction of forests to go on then we will
continue to experience adverse effects of climate change," said
The high demand for firewood and charcoal is a worry to
Ikiugu who said it catalyses the clearance of the forests,
extensively deteriorating the biodiversity.
In Kenya, 93 percent of the population utilize fuels like
charcoal, paraffin and firewood for their daily energy needs as
indicated in a joint report by Kenya National Bureau of
Statistics(KNBS) and Society for International Development (SID)
entitled "Exploring Kenya’s Inequality: Pulling apart or
Conservation of Mau Forest Complex, Kenya’s largest water
catchment, draws much attention due to its multiple benefits to
Kenya’s tourism, energy and agriculture sector.
NAKURU (Xinhua) --
A motorcyclist commonly referred to as 'Boda Boda' in
Kenya ferries sacks of charcoal along the Nakuru
-Nairobi highway, Nakuru. Some Kenyan families still use
charcoal as the main source of energy consumption due to
the high cost of fuel and gas.
XINHUA PHOTO: SIMBI
Streams emanating from the complex drain into major lakes
such as Lake Nakuru, Elementaita and Baringo, which support
wildlife attracting local and international tourists.
"Without the rivers flowing from Mau Forest Complex it is
impossible to talk about hydropower in Kenya because the
generation of the energy mainly depends on water," remarked
As a step to moving forward, Ikiugu said KFS is collaborating
with other State authorities and development partners to reverse
the degradation of the water tower.
However, efficient utilization of the forest resources can be
achieved if the adjacent communities are assisted to raise their
socio-economic standards to break free from use of the charcoal
and firewood according to Kiogora, the Nakuru county environment
"It is necessary that the communities have an access to other
sources of fuel to be able to fully commit themselves to
protecting the forest against destruction," said the environment
Poverty, he said, is a major threat to the sustainable
management of the natural resources across the country.
This is because people continue to draw a livelihood from the
immediate environment regardless of its declining value, he
"It is impossible to discourage someone from using wood when
he or she does not have any source of fuel.
"That is why it is
important that people are empowered to improve their lives and
shift to other environmental friendly sources of energy," he
According to Kiogora, adoption of the available energy saving
stoves is critical to reducing the rate of forest destruction in
the East African nation.
By 2030, Kenya expects to have established a 10 percent
vegetation cover as part of its long-term development plans to
cutting down emission of greenhouses and reducing effects of