Why Mau Forest is so important

The larger Mau Forest Complex, is one of the five main “water towers” of Kenya, the others being Mt. Elgon, Mt. Kenya, the Aberdare Range and the Cherangani Hills.

Zebra grazing at the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Without the water that flows from the Mau Forest, the Maasai Mara will practically die.

Zebra grazing at the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Without the water that flows from the Mau Forest, the Maasai Mara will practically die.

Because of massive destruction in the Mau Forest, Lake Nakuru may be extinct in another eight years unless the current destruction is contained. The after effects of the destruction have led to the lake receding. Other lakes affected are Baringo, Bogoria, Natron and Turkana.

Kenya Wildlife Service director Julius Kipng’etich says the impact on the encroachment of human settlement has affected the rivers which had been draining into the lake, with some drying up or becoming seasonal. River Njoro’s water volume has gone down by more than 75 per cent, while the Mara River is only one-twelfth of its original volume.

He pointed out that without the rivers, the algae plant will no longer find its way into Lake Nakuru and the famous Flamingo birds will no longer survive because they feed on the plant. The director said the impact would affect the Lake Nakuru National Park which is a leading tourist attraction.

Indigenous Peoples Land Commission says that ongoing destruction of the Mau catchment area is threatening the survival of over three million people. According to the group, tourism activities in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem will suffer as the livelihood of the Maasai and Ogiek communities, who depend on these resources, falls into jeopardy.

Narok District is known for wheat production. This crop, as well as others, benefits from the essential environmental services provided by the Mau Forest, in terms of water from the streams and rivers flowing from the forest and favourable microclimatic conditions around the forest. The Mau provides non-timber forest products, including medicinal plants, wild honey and wild fruits, many of which are consumed locally. Local communities also use the forest as dry season pasture.

If conserved, the Mau Forest could be a major asset for tourism development. It could become a twin conservation area with the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which is a major source of revenue for Narok and Transmara districts. Such potential was highlighted in the 1988 study “Maasai Mau National Reserve: Proposed Development Plan,” commissioned by the Narok County Council, which states that the Maasai Mau “will serve as a great contrast when visitors leave the Maasai Mara [National Reserve] or Nakuru [National] Park, which are lowlands parks, to enter into a highland Reserve with a variety of birds and abundance of animals.”

Game and bird watching and walking safaris were identified among the initial activities. Accommodation could include self-service bandas and a small lodge to be located at the waterfall near Imbenek Dapashi Hills.

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Picture of Zebra by tik_tok.

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10 Responses

  1. all the points are explained really well

  2. wow this was very helpful!!!
    thanks a lot :):):)

  3. Thanks a lot for helping me out with my assignment on the Mau complex.

  4. Thanx 4 the info…

  5. Assignment done.Thanx a bunch.

  6. Now that these problems are known, and the adverse future implications well outlined, then my fellow country men and women, are we going to sit back cosily in the comfort of our chairs as if ready to welcome and face those tragic consequences? How far is the progress in terms of remedying the situation? So much is known and said, solutions are known and said, but all this could not be of great solutions if we donot act quickly and as eloquently as we speak. Let us save our forest Mau, for that is the right thing to do. For that is saving our future and that for generations to come.

  7. I have rily liked your reasoning.keep up!

  8. Really helped me in my assignment on Mau Forest. Am a student at St. Paul’s University.

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