Kirosa Scott Reserve
Dakatcha Woodland is an important water catchment in a water-scarce landscape, protecting the fragile soil from erosion, and moderating the local climate. Dakatcha woodland has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International and forms part of the Coastal Forests Global Hotspot defined by Conservation International.
A large and growing population depends on the forest resources for their energy and construction needs. Agriculture is the main economic activity for the communities, making land their most valuable resource. This puts further pressure on the forest and increases the people’s vulnerability to food insecurity.
A Rocha Kenya has been working in Dakatcha Woodland for over a decade, with the Science and Conservation department being the first to begin their activities, which included, the Indian house crows control project followed by various other bird research projects that involved, confirmation of the woodland as the site of breeding for the endemic Clarke’s Weaver (Ploceus golandi), the Kenya Bird Map Project and the discovery of the critical populations of the globally endangered Sokoke Scops Owl, that were found near Kirosa leading to the organization purchasing 200 acres of forested land named Kirosa Scott Reserve. This was to ensure protection of the mentioned species plus other flora and fauna that are part of the forest. This was prompted by the knowledge of the ever increasing human pressure exerted on the woodland that could see the extinction of various species.
To address the food insecurity issue in the communities around the woodland- most of who were encroaching on the forests in order to get favorable arable land for agriculture. The organization through its Community Conservation Department introduced a conservation agriculture model dubbed, “Farming God’s Way.” Having been introduced in the year 2011, it was intensely and extensively passed on to the community beginning the year 2013 to present with major strides towards alleviating food insecurity and enhancing conservation of the woodland being witnessed.
Through its Environmental Education program, A Rocha Kenya has continued to bolster their efforts to see conservation is taken up in the area, rightly so by the young generation who will require the resource in the future. Eight schools around the woodland have been part of the program participating in various environmental education lessons and practical conservation activities so as to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills that will lead them to have a positive attitude change towards conserving their environment and eventually a positive behavioral change towards the same.
Kirosa Scott Reserve