Community Conservation: Dakatcha Land Purchase
The need at hand
High rate of deforestation in Dakatcha is threatening the existence of endemic species like the Sokoke Scops Owl and the Golden-rumped Sengi. Selective logging for charcoal production and pineapple farming are responsible for the loss of hundreds of acres of this pristine forest with global conservation importance. Since the start of the land adjudication process by the national government, local landowners have been selling the land to speculative buyers and companies interested in pineapple farming in the rich red magarini soils leading to the accelerated shrinking of the Dakatcha Key Biodiversity Area (IBA).
What we are doing
Since 2014, A Rocha Kenya has been involved in land purchase to secure a significant size of habitat and create a reserve for the protection of the Sokoke Scops Owl and the Golden-rumped Sengi among other important species in Dakatcha. To date, A Rocha Kenya has purchased over 1610 hectares of forest comprising different habitat types including Brachystegia woodland, Cynometra thicket and Commiphora bushland, a 32% of the targeted 5058 hectares.
Hiccups along the way
Whilst we have been surprised by the interest from various donor organisations and individual philanthropists and conservationists, fundraising for the venture remains the main challenge owing to the expense of the undertaking and the escalating land prices as more and more people seek to purchase land in the area. A Rocha Kenya has held several discussions with partners and other stakeholders on the most appropriate tenure designation that would be most convenient and cost-effective in managing and protecting the reserve.
Our partners and donors.
Our key donors in the project are; Rainforest Trust, World Land Trust, AG Leventis Foundation , AP Leventis Foundation, and Eden Wildlife Trust.