REDD+ Breathe Life To Poor Conservationists In Kasigau Wildlife Corridor

The world has woken up to see the urgent need to address unprecedented climate change through application of concerted efforts on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).

Wildlife Works, the worldwide renowned leading REDD+ project development and management company that has positioned itself to protection of threatened forests and wildlife is among a few organizations stimulating transformation of lives through REDD+ Project.

A woman fetching water in one of the water catchment rock refurbished through funds from REDD-Project.

In 2011, the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project was the world’s first REDD+ mega project to be validated and verified successfully under the Verified Carbon Standards (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB) and thereafter issued with carbon credit.

Since the implementation of the forest conservation and climate change mitigation business in Kenya began particularly in Taita Taveta, lives have been impacted through development projects aimed at addressing poor education standards, access to water, healthcare, human wildlife conflict menace, and environmental degradation where forest and biodiversity assets were under threat.

“Today I can confidently say that our conservation efforts breathe new life in the face of hopelessness following the implementation of the REDD+ project in this region. Construction of decent classrooms and renovation of old classes in various schools has greatly developed infrastructure and improved learning environment in institutions which had deteriorated buildings, issuance of scholarships and bursaries to secondary and post-secondary school going children from disadvantaged families, ” said Mwasoko Mwazighe, the immediate former Chair of the
Marungu Location Bursary Committee.

A team of unarmed dedicated Wildlife Works rangers in their daily routine protection of the over 500,000 acres of the Kasigau Corridor REDD Project area.

In 2015, the multi-million dollar carbon credit sale project resulted in the refurbishment of a state of the art medical and pathology laboratory at Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi at an approximated budget of Ksh 16,750,000 which since then has led to improved laboratory diagnostic services, saving residents a lot from traveling to Mombasa or Nairobi for such services.

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The pioneering wildlife conservation company has also played a pivotal role in ensuring there is accessibility of water in six locations where the project cover namely Marungu, Kasigau, Mackinon, Sagalla, Mwatate and Mwachabo.

“The organization has positively contributed to accessibility of water for domestic and animal use through renovation of water catchment rocks, construction of water pans, building of water tanks, renovation of water pipelines, installing gutter system in health facilities and schools to improve harvesting of rain water, ” added Mr. Mwasoko.

Wildlife Works has hired local youth who count trees in the corridor, calculation of carbon stored in them done as VCS carries out audits through Environmental Services before issuing credits.

Wildlife Works Community Relations Officer Mr. Joseph Mwakima hinted that carbon credit revenue is divided thrice where a portion goes to the project implementer (Wildlife Works) to cater for operations, another one shared with land owners for their selfless efforts of conserving natural resources around the project area and the remaining share left to fund various community development projects.

He further added that, “The organization has prioritized public participation as enshrined in the Kenyan constitution as a strategic method to enable the community determine what projects to be undertaken through their share. ”

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Harrison Kamwana

Harrison Kamwana is a Kenyan based Journalist specializing in political, health, wildlife and development journalism. He is also a renowned social media branding and crisis communication expert. He is currently a Public Relations Officer at the County Government of Taita Taveta - Twitter @HarrisonKamwana

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