Tunis, 12 October 2005 – The African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group, has approved a loan of 25.04 million Units of Account (UA)*, equivalent to US$ 36.18 million, to finance the Green Zones Development Support Project in Kenya.
The project objectives are to promote forest regeneration and conservation for environmental protection and water conservation in order to improve rural livelihoods and incomes of communities, especially women, living adjacent to the forests, and by so doing contribute to the government’s poverty reduction efforts.
These objectives will be pursued through three distinct approaches:
- Conservation of the natural forests, including participatory forest planning and management;
- Consolidation of physical buffers to gazetted forests by the establishment and management of tree and tea plantations;
- Improvement of income for buffer communities to reduce pressure on indigenous forests by increasing beneficiary involvement and participation, with at least 40% female representation, allowing the transfer of the benefits from the buffer zones to the communities living nearby.
The project will be implemented in the Central, Eastern, Rift Valley and Western provinces, essentially addressing protection of Kenya’s water towers facing rapid degradation. The project area comprises nearly 7,000 km2 in and around the margins of 21-gazetted forests in the highland areas of the country, and is located in 24 districts with a population of about 300,000 households, of which at least 81,000 (27%) are headed by females.
The Bank Group's operations in Kenya started in 1967. To date, the cumulative commitment of the Group in the country amounts to US$ 960 million.