Mount Kenya Trust 2021 news wrap up

Wrapping up 2021

As ever we’re delighted bring you the highlights of our busy community and conservation work around Mount Kenya.

Enjoy the mountain buzz covering some of our activities on and around Mount Kenya. In just the last two months Community Rangers have helped train Il Mamusi Community Rangers with Life Saver Skills and given fire awareness and fire fighting awareness sessions to five Community Forest Associations (CFAs) with support from Rhino Ark, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forest Service. Four more two-day sessions will be delivered to CFAs early next year.

Wishing a very very Happy New Year to all of our partners, supporters and friends, stay safe and thank you so much for your continued support.

2021 Forest Restoration Report

With permission granted by KFS to continue our Trees Establishment Livelihood Improvement Scheme (know as TELIS), We have been able to allocate new plots for Agroforestry for indigenous forest regeneration in Forest and National Reserve. With support from our donors and by working with directly community members, our Team has planted a total of 172,436 seedlings this year which will be protected until they mature, and replaced if they don’t survive. In a year of very poor rainfall levels and funding issues, this is a huge achievement equivalent to 172 hectares of reforested area. 116,236 were planted between October and December alone. The total by area for the year are as follows:
40,350 trees were planted in Karuri
34,755 trees were planted in Marania
26,900 trees were planted in Lower Imenti
70,431 trees were planted in Upper Imenti

You can support Mount Kenya Trust’s forest restoration projects just by leaving a review for our tree planting projects on the Tree Nation Project. Please click on the button below if you have experienced or know about our restoration work. Thank you!

Planting with KFS and the Community in the Upper Imenti Forest this year.
Review our tree planting activies to increase donations via Tree-Nation
It’s been a very challenging Year for our rangers all over the continent. Everyone in the Mount Kenya Trust ranger teams and the management team has had to work extra hard to ensure we can keep boots on the ground and get the word out to supporters.

Thanks to the innovation and huge support of our partners all our rangers are still hard at work protecting the natural resources we value and heavily rely on. In addition to the routine, mobile and emergency patrols they carry out each day they have have taken part in a number of training exercises, helped to build awareness on fire for other communities and provide Life Saver Training to our own and outside community rangers.

Our Rangers have also carried out Riparian Patrols, taken part in Riparian and town cleanups and joined the 2021 Wildlife Ranger Challenge. We are hugely proud of what all the team members achieved this year.

A big shout out to Charles Nyaga, our Ranger of the year!

Top: Having put out a large fire near Rutundu with the help of KWS and KFS our fire fighters mop the area up checking that there is no chance a temperature or wind change can reignite subsurface embers in August.
Above Left: working with the Ontulili Water Users Association to plant on riparian land in mid September.
Above Right: In late September our rangers helped residents with a clean up at Murungurune market.
Above: We’ve partnered with Rhino Ark, KFS, KWS and and the Community Forest Associations to push out fire awareness to teams of 20 people from 9 Forest Stations CFA’s. Our trained Fire Marshalls are passing on their knowledge of fire theory and fighting tools and practice so that they can use existing tools at Forest Stations and put them to good use as first responders. A little knowledge, some practice and safety principles can go a long way.
Passing it on! Our trained LEAD Ranger Life Saver Instructors were asked by Il Mamusi to provide Life Saver training to their Rangers who patrol the Mugakagodo Forest. Thank you to LEAD Ranger for the intial Training and for providing the equipment for the Il Mamusi team.

Thanks to steadfast partners we’re out there in the community more than ever before! Some restrictions have prevented us from work in classrooms but we have been able to work with the community through our health care project, our riparian land projects, and our education projects. Here are some of the highlights!

  • Our Community Healthcare Project continues to offer door-to door services and outreaches with the Ministry of Health in several counties around Mount Kenya.
  • Our Riparian project has helped us to restore river banks, build clean up stations in two centers, invest in water harvesting for a hospital and a school, operate river patrols with our rangers with the Water Resource Users Association members, and support the groups directly.
  • We’ve installed 8 further water harvesting facilities in schools in the region in 2021.
  • We have started woodlots in 25 new woodlots planting over 14,000 trees.
Top: Woodlot planting in schools
Above Left: Riparian land restoration; Above Right: A community health care outreach.
The Tropic Air 10to4 Mountain Bike Challenge 2022 is on!

Despite difficulties pulling off a full event in 2021, we have tried our absolute best to make it up to our entrants and sponsors with all that was thrown at the world. We made tough decisions and we’ve dusted ourselves off. We held the postponed Borana Altitude Horse Ride in June and the Braeburn Mini 10to4 in July. Thanks to our wonderful partners and key sponsors the full event is running in 2022. You can register by clicking on the button below!

Thank you Tropic Air and Braeburn Schools! Thanks to them and our incredible husband and wife organising team Leafy and Will Rous, Timau Sports Club and the Safari Simbaz, the postponed event in July was top-notch. Well done to all the participating children and their patient, ever supportive parents!
Register for the 2022 Tropic Air 10to4 Mountian Bike Challenge


By Edwin Kinyanjui, a report from August 2021
On Saturday, we planned for our normal patrol in the forest. Often, we respond to intelligence information from local sources. On this day, however, we had no new intelligence so we decided to patrol an area where we suspected there might be illegal activities happening.

It was early in the morning when we set off. We drove our vehicle until the road ended, and then began patrolling on foot. After walking a short distance, we saw human and dog footprints coming from the forest. We followed them so that we could determine what sort of activity was taking place.

Since it was the dry season, tracking the footprints was difficult. At one point, my teammates and I almost gave up after being unable to find any more tracks. Luckily, we spotted other signs of human activity, like machete cuts in the vegetation, which helped us to continue on the trail. It was particularly difficult at times when we reached dry, grassy fields, so we had to rely on our past tracing experience to continue on-wards.

At one point, we found ourselves in a new and unknown location that none of us had been to before. We checked our GPS and discovered that we were 11 kilometers inside the forest! We decided to take a break because we had completely lost the trail. We decided to retrace our footsteps to get out of the forest because it was getting late and we did not bring flashlights.

While my colleagues were taking a break, I decided to take one last look around for signs of human activity which would help us continue on our search. After searching for about twenty minutes, I found a path with some barely visible footprints, and so I called out for my colleagues. They could not hear me because I was so far away, but, thankfully, there was cell service so I was able to call them. When they arrived, we agreed to try our best to follow the path since our mission for the day was not over yet.

We set off and my colleague who was in the front of the group noticed a dry bamboo stick placed near a tree and stopped to check it out. At first, he wanted to grab onto it but I yelled at him to stop. Our rule is to always remain as quiet as possible because we never know what might be in our surroundings. I asked him to jump back from where he was, and he did so very quickly. I was trembling as I pointed up into the tree. We all saw a trap hanging from the tree designed to kill an elephant. We all ducked to a safer area behind another tree nearby so that if there was somebody monitoring the trap they would not be able to attack us from that direction.

After some time, I crawled towards the tree where the trap had been set and called out to my colleagues. We looked around to make sure there were no other humans or wildlife in the vicinity. After determining that the scene was safe, I began to explain to my colleagues how that type of trap works. The trap consisted of a large piece of metal that had been sharpened at one end and embedded into a heavy log, which was then suspended from the tree. When an elephant triggers the trap, the log with the sharp metal is designed to fall directly onto the elephant. We cut rope suspending the trap and it came down with a big thunder. Everyone was amazed! With much difficulty, we removed the sharp metal from the log so we could easily carry it with us out of the forest. Luckily, we had a machete that made it easier to break off the nails that attached the metal to the log. We were extra cautious as we worked because poachers have been known to poison traps so they are more likely to be lethal.

It was a bittersweet day. We were joyful that we were able to save an elephant from this deadly trap, but disappointed that we were unable to find the culprits. This shows that it is important to be alert at all times while on patrol since danger can come at you from all directions.

This year, the Joint Wildlife Protection Team was supported by the IUCN Save our Species co-founded by the European Union. The Joint Wildlife Protection Team, has patrolled Mt Kenya since 2008.

Edwin now works as our Education Officer, still assisting the Ranger Teams with training while working with the management team on education in schools and with adult community groups. He’s pictured below barbaric hanging spear that he and the team found that day.

There are a number of ways you can show support for our conservation and community projects.

Rate our tree planting activity, follow us on social media, support a friend doing the 10to4, ask to volunteer for the 10to4, tell people about us or make a monthly or one-off donation to support our rangers!

Gift an small amount per month via paypal, card or Mpesa to make a one-off donation to help our rangers reduce illegal logging and poaching on Mount Kenya.

Every little really helps us keep doing our best. Asanteni and thank you to all of you!

Give a monthly or one-off donation to support Mount Kenya Trust in 2022
We’re immensely proud of the entire MKT Team for their involvement in the Wildlife Ranger Challenge this year. It takes a whole team to keep the momentum going and everyone participated in its success. Many many thanks to Tusk Trust and their partners for this wonderful opportunity for many many Rangers doing important work in Africa’s protected areas. We salute you!
If you missed our 2020 Annual report you can click on the image above!
Photo Credit for the Horse Patrol Team image: Anthony Ochieng/TonyWild in collaboration with the Wildlife Ranger Challenge and supported by Natural State, the Game Rangers Association of Africa and the Scheinberg Relief Fund to raise the profile of Africa’s rangers and showcase their important and diverse role in conservation.
Copyright © 2017 Mount Kenya Trust. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 690
Nanyuki 10400