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Fighis and Springs

The Taita Hills still host a few very small and geographically isolated cloud forest remnants, which occur scattered throughout the mountain range. These cloud forests are not only valuable habitats for endangered and endemic animal and plant species, but are also places with great cultural and spiritual and social relevance. So-called Fighis are sacred forest patches, where traditional rites are held. Thus, such places are very important for the social cohesion of the entire community across Taita Hills. The remaining forest islands are also essential for the regulation of the hydrology in Taita Hills. Local springs are the basic prerequisite for the successful agricultural use of the Taita Hills. Robert Mokua mapped all historic and recent water springs, as well as Fighis, for the Chawia, Fururu, and Ngangao areas. The fieldwork was supported by Linus Mbogo Chomba, a local assistant who knows very well the area around Chawia and Fururu. These data will subsequently be combined with further information (on land use). This work package is supervised by Dr. Mike Teucher (MLU) and Dr. Marianne Maghenda (TTU).