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Better Globe

Better Globe Nyangoro plantation site

Witu Nyangoro Ranch Directed Agricultural Company Ltd is the owner of Nyangoro Ranch in Lamu district, at the northern end of the Kenyan coastline. The ranch is about 32,000 hectares, part of which has been earmarked for a lease to Better Globe Forestry. It is lush savannah land lying across the Lamu-Malindi highway.
Better Globe Nyangoro plantation site

As its name implies, the ranch was home to livestock rearing activities in the early 1980s, until misfortune struck and cattle rustlers stole hundreds of head of cattle. Coupled with mismanagement by ranch officials, the ranch could not overcome its problems and fell into a dormant state for over 15 years.

Preliminary contacts between Better Globe and the ranch started as early as March 2007. Several site visits took place for assessment of the ranch and presenting Better Globe to the ranch committee members.

These working visits continue; work related to ownership documentation has been set in motion at the Ministry of Lands in Nairobi. Unfortunately, ownership documentation is incomplete and Better Globe has had to dig up evidence on the ground and retrieve it from dusty archives. Better Globe has really invested in this process, which is crucial to gain the confidence of investors and obtain funds for the afforestation project.

The district authorities and the line ministries (Livestock and Agriculture) as well as the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the Kenya Forest Service, and the Kenya Wildlife Service, are kept informed of all steps taken. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ranch was signed in 2008 to provide for a working basis and mapping out the way forward.

Better Globe took representatives of the Witu Nyangoro ranch management and the Lamu district authorities on a tour of its plantations in Kiambere in 2008; this was to show them how large-scale plantations look like and how the future of Nyangoro ranch would be.

Better Globe completed the legally required Environmental Impact Assessment for a pilot plantation of 100 hectares, and this was approved by NEMA at the beginning of 2010. A nursery had been established on site in 2009, and seedlings are ready for planting. Some indigenous acacias, namely, Acacia zanzibarica and A. nilotica have been selected for the edge around siwa (temporarily waterlogged areas), and Melia volkensii, though the latter is slightly out of its natural area. Nonetheless it is expected to grow vigorously, especially in the drier northern parts of the ranch.