Since its establishment, the Corporation has made tremendous achievement; it has established a total of 939 kilometers stretch of tree and tea buffer length which protects over 975,582 hectares of gazetted forests and crucial water towers across the country. The buffer zones have successfully stopped human encroachment into the forestland, contributed to the natural regeneration of the protected forests and maintained the country’s tree cover which is crucial in mitigating the deleterious effects of climate change.
As noted, in the areas where the Corporation operates, illegal logging has been greatly reduced and encroachment stopped. Since the forest buffer was established, there has been tremendous regeneration of the forests and resurgence of the seasonal rivers in the conserved areas.In addition, the Corporation has played a critical role in the preservation of biodiversity in Kenya’s highland forests which supports key water-towers. This is very beneficial to support the country’s rain-fed agriculture which in turn contributes to food security, one of the Big-4 Agenda pillars.
Verifiably NTZDC works with rural communities who arguably have a strong attachment to the forest as a means for their survival. As the Corporation moves in to protecting the gazetted forest, the government utility navigated this minefield through team effort. The organization has largely been supported by various internal and external stakeholders that include; the government through the parent ministry which has allowed for the expansion from 300kms stretch to the current 939kms stretch.
Equally, the organization has received overwhelming support from the stakeholders at various government agencies who are involved in the conservation mandate, such as the KFS in streamlining the forest cutline at the buffer belts.
The organization’s internal team has also largely contributed to the overall success that includes; the board which has clearly given good direction in establishing and undertaking of conservation efforts as well as the robust team of employees who are very passionate with the conservation mandate and have been able to advance the aspect of sustainability and growth. NTZDC’S success is therefore a culmination of collaborative efforts from various stakeholders and communities who live along the forest edges, along the conservation belts and those who have continued to champion our initiatives.
Tea growing is a peripheral role of the organization as environmental conservation, is the organizations core calling. Tea is a shrub (small tree) and in NTZDC concept it’s used for conservation as well as sustenance of the buffer belt. The communities are sensitized on their role in the conservation of forest through the establishment and maintenance of the buffer. They are engaged in daily activities of the buffer by providing labor during a buffer establishment, buffer maintenance activities of tea plucking, weeding, tea & tree pruning, security and so on. These initiatives create a source of ownership that cascades right through the organization and with our stakeholders, Notes Mr. Muceke-operations manager NTZDC Nyayo tea zones conserve the forest by establishing a 100m buffer belt that consists of three components namely tea, fuel wood and indigenous trees along river valleys and environmentally sensitive areas. The buffer belt is subdivided into zones ranging from 100 to 250ha and further into tea or forest blocks that range from 10 to -20ha.This is done for administrative purposes. A zone Manager is in charge of both the forest and tea components in the zone while a block supervisor is in charge of either a tea block or forest block. The background of the staff is generally agriculture or forestry. The managers and supervisors are trained on conservation and the taught the significance of the buffer belt that has both tea and assorted tree species.
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