Residents of the town of Mwatate have joined the other Taita County communities who can say, without a doubt, that environmental conservation pays well. The latest project funded by carbon credits, which was officially opened on June 8th, is expected to increase the community’s enthusiasm for taking care of the environment.
The project involved building a modern classroom at Mwatate secondary school, which cost approximately $10,000 (Ksh 800,000). Taita Taveta County’s Deputy Governor, Mrs. Mary Digha, was guest of honor at the event and hailed the classroom, which can accommodate up to 40 students, as being in line with the Ministry of Education’s specifications for building classrooms.
“The Kenya Ministry of Education requires that classrooms be large enough to accommodate many students who are joining the public schools,” Mrs. Digha said.
The new classroom at Mwatate Secondary School is just the icing on the cake. There are numerous other Wildlife Works projects currently in progress around the towns of Mwatate and Mwachabo. The projects include the construction of a classroom valued at $9,000 at Mngama Primary School, the construction of a staff room, classroom and toilet facilities at Shigadi ya Mwemba Primary School, the building of a water chamber and rehabilitation of the existing water pipeline at Ngangu and the allocation of school bursaries to needy students.
The Residents of Mwatate have also applauded the speed at which Wildlife Works responded to an emergency that left one school in the area without a roof. Muzanwenyi Primary School was at the receiving end of a gusty wind that left it roofless, calling for the intervention of our skilled builders. Wildlife Works deployed a team to carry out the repairs, and the construction team is still camping at the school until they finish installing a more reinforced roof.
In total, the Mwatate community, which joined the Wildlife Works REDD+ Carbon Project in 2011, has been able to initiate projects worth more than $150,000 in the past year with a high percentage of this amount going towards offering bursaries to students. Funding for these projects and bursaries is obtained directly from the sale of carbon credits. There is therefore a need for the community to continue protecting trees and looking after the local wildlife-rich Mgeno Ranch, in Mwatate.