Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Respecting local traditions in Mt. Kenya

Global climate changes have led to the loss of Mt. Kenya’s glacial hat, which along with deforestation threatens a crucial source of water for millions of Kenyans. The UNDP-Compact project has brought together NGOs, community grouping and private companies to deal with this mounting problem.

The UN, government corporations and NGOs have been quick to exploit the mountain's immense spiritual significance to millions of the residents living around it. Some of the NGOs have joined hands with the National Museums of Kenya to initiate schemes that now "remind" relevant communities of the need to preserve and conserve sacred sites. They are now tapping into ancient, but evidently forgotten, taboos and myths to help secure the mountain's ecosystem from total ruin.

Whether helping trout farmers continue their business, aiding women’s groups to cultivate nurseries in the Mt. Kenya forest or generating electricity from River Tungo-Kabiri, the UNDP-Compact will work with local communities to preserve this entire area and its vital contribution to Kenyan society.