Lafarge-owned Bamburi Cement, no stranger to conservation issues, is teaming up with the Worldwide Fund for Nature in a project that is to regenerate the degraded forests of Shimba Hills in the south of the country. Organised by local communities, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Forest Department the partnership will help to restore the area, an important habitat for elephants and other fauna and flora, to its former ecological beauty. Shimba Hills form part of Eastern Africa’s key coastal forests, characterised by a high diversity of unique plants and small animals and highly acclaimed internationally, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
The Shimba Hills programme has a number of objectives, including hopes to reduce the human-elephant conflict. Furthermore, it will assist in improving community livelihoods through a variety of measures, which include helping schools to become self-sufficient in water and firewood with fruit trees planting schemes and rainwater harvesting systems in Kwale, Kajiado, Mombasa and Eatern Province. The project will establish farm forestry activities and develop sustainable alternative livelihood schemes by 2006.
For Bamburi the forests are the main reservoir for plants and animals used in quarry rehabilitation and the company is highly motivated to support local stakeholders. The project is part of an ongoing partnership between the nature fund and Lafarge. Bamburi is one of the companies that have registered in the nature conservation organisation’s Eastern Africa Corporate Club, a membership programme for companies that wish to support nature conservation. Through its partnership, Bamburi is also leading the formulation of environmental standards in cement production in the area.