Safeguarding Oloolua Forest: A Call to Action for Environmental Conservation”

In a concerted effort to address the imminent threats facing the Oloolua forest, the Ngong Social Justice and Environment Centre organized a crucial workshop on April 9th, 2024.

Situated in Ngong, Kajiado County, Nairobi, Kenya, the Oloolua forest, once a lush haven, now faces peril from careless dumping, nuclear radioactive exposure, and various other human-made activities endangering its delicate ecosystem.

The workshop, spearheaded by Sankara Nyagaya, convener of the Ngong Social Justice and Environment Centre, commenced with an impassioned welcome, underscoring the urgency of collective action to safeguard the forest’s future.

A Cross section of participants during the workshop

Attended by approximately 50 participants, including local residents and ward representatives, the workshop served as a rallying point for community engagement and advocacy.

A highlight of the event was Charles Leshore’s poignant recounting of the forest’s history, evoking its cultural significance as a heritage site. Leshore’s words echoed a somber warning: without decisive intervention, the Oloolua forest’s legacy could be lost forever.

Aron Greene, the lead for strategy, project design, and fundraising, captivated attendees with insightful documentaries, one of which had been featured by NATGEO. These visual narratives served as powerful reminders of the forest’s ecological value and the imperative of conservation efforts.

Sophie Adhiambo, Program Manager at Natural Justice, Affirming Rights-East African Hub, delivered a compelling presentation on the nexus between natural justice and the workshop’s agenda. Adhiambo’s capacity-building session equipped participants with the knowledge and tools to advocate effectively for the forest’s protection, emphasizing the importance of adopting an ecosystem approach in conservation efforts.

Philip Dinga, Advocacy Officer at the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, reinforced the workshop’s message, emphasizing the timely intersection of climate justice issues and the imperative to safeguard natural ecosystems. Dinga’s insights underscored the interconnectedness of environmental and social justice.

The workshop concluded with a collective commitment to take rapid action to protect the Oloolua forest, including the formulation of necessary documentation. Participants and residents departed with renewed hope and determination to effect positive change, knowing that the future of the Oloolua forest rests in their hands.

Maurice Kimatu

The Author is a Journalist from Kenya

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