Paradise Lost

Poverty is complex. One can never truly fault a person who is driven by the sole motive of putting a decent meal in front of their family should they be forced into illegal actions in order to do so. But when actions are taken purely for greed and self gain, for a sickening desire to accumulate more and more wealth at the cost of the environment and its inhabitants, it is a lot easier to confront but so much more difficult to do anything about. Conservation in Africa is a mixture of the two and there is not a place on the continent that has not been affected by the misery of poverty and the avarice of the wealthy.

And as if it is not hard enough in Kenya to deal with our own corruption and greed, we are often landed with foreign riffraff who think that this is Africa so they can do what they want. The Kenyan coastline has always been prime choice for spoils.

Chale Island, a beautiful little paradise south of Diani is under attack once again.

The other day, the Colobus Trust was informed that a foreigner had bought a plot at Chale Island, and had cut down with electric chain saw some very old (200+ years) beautiful indigenous trees and very old mangroves.

Chale Island

We have left contact numbers with the island security who have been instructed to call us as soon as the culprits return. On receiving a report from them our collective intention is to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators including the land owner. A clear message has been sent.

Chale Island

The Forestry Department is particularly keen to follow up. The ignorance of the clearing operation with a view to ‘development’ is frankly blinding and completely unnecessary. Some of the felled trees and mangroves are estimated to be around 200 years old and irreplaceable. You will see from the photos that any further cutting will encroach both further into the forest and the water line.

Chale Island

If you are aware of any similar grotesque actions, please use the NEW HOT LINE to report incidences of FOREST DESTRUCTION, CUTTING OF INDIGENOUS TREES, CHARCOAL MAKING, ETC.
The number is : 0800 2212323 and the people concerned are:

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  1. Posted December 21, 2008 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Great blog Dipesh. Everyone should hear about this shocking event. After Christmas I will visit the site with my camera and try and investigate further the impact this reckless, needless act has caused…



  2. colleen
    Posted December 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    this is very shocking and so sad. I hope the culprits are apprehended soon!

    Great post!

  3. taylor
    Posted December 22, 2008 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    i am very proud to see that somone or a group of people have risen to the challenge of saving these sacred creatures.i wish that there were more people like that i dont think it is right what our savage culture of humans has done to all other animals treating them as if there on our planet. we need to share these lands and be more aware of eachother in a co-excistent way. i would appretiate if you would email me with anything that i could do to assist this growing issue. as i am still just a teenager looking to do what i can to aid.

  4. Posted December 26, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks very much for your comment Taylor. As you probably have seen from our previous posts, right now we really need help fundraising as this year, the Colobus Trust has really suffered due to the post-election violence in Kenya. We now need to secure enough funds to get our core projects going and to be able to tackle such atrocities. And do spread the word!

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