Kenya Electricity Generating Co. Ltd. (KenGen) has donated a total of 4.4 million shillings (US$63,500) to help protect the forest in the catchment area of the 547.2-MW Seven Forks hydropower cascade.
Kengen said it donated the funds to the Rhino Ark Trust fund for the Aberdare forest fencing project. Its most recent donation is 3.3 million shillings (US$43,290) to construct housing units for guards patrolling a 400-kilometer fence around Aberdare.
KenGen Chairman Titus Mbathi said the company supports the forest conservation effort because of its importance as a water catchment to the Tana River. He called the forest one of Kenya’s most important �water towers,� feeding the country’s most important source of hydropower, the five projects in the Seven Forks cascade.
�As we continue to put more effort in the conservation and reforestation of this vital water catchment area, we also need to guard the work we have done so far,� he said.
Mbathi said the utility is distributing more than 50,000 seedlings to communities and institutions each year.
Seven Forks projects on the Tana include 144-MW Kiambere, 40-MW Masinga, 94.2-MW Kamburu, 225-MW Gitaru, and 44-MW Kindaruma. (HNN 10/4/06)