Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator. The forested slopes are an important source of water for much of Kenya. There are eight vegetation bands from the base to the summit. The lower slopes are covered by different types of forest.
Many species are endemic to Mount Kenya such as the lobelias, the senecios and the rock hyrax. An area of 715 square kilometres (276 sq mi) around the centre of the mountain was designated a National Park and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
- Kenya’s forest cover is less than 2% and Mount Kenya Forest constitutes some of the most significant reserves of remaining forestland in the country.
- Mount Kenya has lost about 30% of its forest cover through various illegal activities such as timber harvesting or charcoal burning.
- This is threatening wildlife living in the forest.
- Mount Kenya forests act as water catchment areas to many rivers that have seen decreases in water volume due to loss of forest cover.
- This is leading to water conflicts among communities.
- Communities living in the area are poor because of unsustainable methods of farming which have caused massive soil erosion and infertility.