Ngare Ndare Forest is sorrounded by six settlements comprising of different ethnic groups. The communities are namely Subuiga, Kisima and Mbuju found along the south-eastern to the south-western boundary; and Ethi, Ngare Ndare and Manyagalo along the north-western to the north-eastern boundary
The communities that surround Ngare Ndare Forest undertake various economic and social activities namely grazing, farming, bee keeping, herbal medicine collection, fuel wood collection etc. However, as population increases, so has the pressure on the natural resources, and this has led to the need to initiate alternatives to enhance sustainable use of forest resources. The trust gives 70% of it's eco-tourism income to support community development projects.
To alleviate pressure on the forest due to firewood collection, the Trust provides small holder farms in the communities with fast growing agroforestry species for firewood and building materials. Over 1.5 million tree seedlings have been planted on the farms, and have made a huge difference in the incidents of illegal tree felling. The Trust has initiated a biogas project to release pressure on the forest from firewood collection and alleviate forest depletion. To help diversify incomes and reduce reliance on livestock, the Trust has also given bee hives to some community members to set up within the forest, who sell the honey and keep the profits.
16 community members have found employment in becoming Ngare Ndare Forest rangers. They were trained at the Kenya Wildlife Service training school, Manyani where they obtained the KPR status. They play critical role in raising forest conservation awareness, gathering intelligence, conflict management and collecting basic forest data.
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