Kenya’s forests are cleared at a rate of 5,000 hectares (12,300 acres) a year.
The round black pellets look like animal dung. But these little balls contain acacia seeds that are helping regrow Kenya’s depleted forests.
In a tranche of razed forest bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve, a team of rangers scatter generous handfuls of “seedballs” around the bald clearing to give nature a fighting chance to regenerate.
It takes just minutes for the eight rangers from the Mara Elephant Project, a conservation group, to toss some 20,000 seedballs across this ravaged corner of the Forest, which was destroyed by charcoal burners.
Developed by Seedballs Kenya, the casing of charcoal dust protects the seed inside from being eaten by mice, birds or insects before it germinates. The shell is semi-porous, giving it a fighting chance even in arid conditions.