International agencies have donated funds towards the rehabilitation of the renowned Kaya forests in Kilifi county greatly boosting conservation efforts in the area.
The United Nations Development Programme through the World Wildlife Fund released 41 million shillings that will aid protection of these sanctuaries considered world heritage sites that face the threat of human activities.
The sacred Kaya forests are part of the Eastern African Coastal Forests Eco Region recognized for their global importance.
During a ceremony held at the Kilifi that brought together all stakeholders engaged in conservation of the sacred forests, funds were dispatched to the world heritage sites which include Kaya Ribe, Jibana, Kambe, Kauma, Rabai, Chonyi and Fungo in Kilifi.
Organizers say the coast region has over 56 Kayas, 43 of which are recognized and protected. These sites have benefited groups which carry out value addition programs such as butterfly and pepper farming as they protect the world heritage sites.
The groups have also adopted eco-agricultural farming practices, including the growing and processing of traditional medicinal plants. Others are for the conservation of threatened coastal colobus monkeys through data collection and conducting a census.
Peter Mungai from the WWF said the project was important as it supports community groups to preserve the precious forests which is also home to unique birds’ species, amphibians, fauna and flora among others in the area.
Hillary Tsuma a Kaya Elder from Kaya Kauma said they have been preserving Kayas for decades for their culture and lauded the organizations that provided funding for the conservation of the Sacred forests.