Mount Kenya University School of Pure Applied Sciences (SPAS) is among two other universities that have won an international grant for the restoration of Brackenhurst forest situated at Limuru in Kiambu County.
The Sh110 Millions Erasmus Plus grant was won in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University (NTU), and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
The grant will facilitate the assessment, documentation and protection of indigenous medicinal plants at the forest, and determination of the medicinal components of the plants.
It will also be used in the determination of soil fertility, agroforestry and tree species with view of assessing the food and fuel security.
The impact of restoration of the forest on farming communities in Limuru, will also be assessed.
Situated in the remote parts of Limuru, the forest is one of the last ancient indigenous forests in Central Kenya where elephants, leopards, and other rare wildlife still roam the area, and there are several breathtaking waterfalls hidden in the depths of the forest.
Speaking after the victory, Dr. Mary Muriuki, the Dean SPAS who will be the MKU lead researcher welcomed the success saying the private university was ready to collaborate with other environmentalists to restore life in the deep forest.
“The grant’s activities from the success will benefit both postgraduate and undergraduate students. The students will be involved in the field and laboratory research,” she said.
“This project will not only benefit the University but also the community at large since it addresses the issue of forests, which impacts on our climate as a people,” she added.
She revealed that ten students and six faculty members will benefit from an exchange program with NTU in the duration of the three-year grant period.