The Tsavo Ecosystem and Dispersal Area (TEDA) incorporates vast savannahs, plains, hills and water towers such as Chyulu, Taita Hills, Shimba Hills in Kwale and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania from which extensive rivers and water systems emanate including the volcanic Mzima Springs, Lugard's Falls, Tana, Athi-Galana-Sabaki and Voi Rivers; in addition to unique water bodies such as Lakes Jipe and Chala and even the Indian Ocean - the final destination of water from all these rivers and water bodies. Tsavo Ecosystem & Dispersal Area includes the Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks which, together, comprise Africa’s largest wilderness reserve and holds one third of Kenya’s total elephant population. TEDA is a bio-diversity of wild animals and plants some of which are exclusively indigenous to the region. TEDA lies on one of the main North-South migration routes for birds and animals which collectively form a unique biodiversity feature in the world.
Furthermore, TEDA also holds within it rich cultural heritage sites and memorable historical events with exceptional significance in the world. Some of these major sites and events hosted by TEDA include the historic Kenya-Uganda Railway, the railway line from Mombasa to the shores of Lake Victoria (1986 - 1905) driven by strategic British imperial interests seeking to secure the source of the Nile and control over Egypt and the Suez Canal. Secondly, the Fort Jesus built by the Portuguese in the 15th Century to secure their lucrative trade route to the Far East. Thirdly, the Taveta colonial administration post, site of the First Shot of the East African Campaign that marked the beginning of World War I. Furthermore, a significant number of East African soldiers recruited into the forces of World War II came from the TEDA. Fourthly, the cave-shrines with well- preserved skulls of different clans of the Wataita (the final resting place of the departed) are some of the most outstanding cultural heritage sites in the TEDA.
The priceless ecological biodiversity, cultural and historical heritage described above are under very serious threat from adverse effects of unsustainable land use, environmental degradation, inappropriate management of natural resources and the effects of Climate Change. These threats have manifested themselves in the TEDA in form of recurrent droughts, flash floods, deforestation, loss of land fertility, reduced agricultural potential, reduction of the quality and quantity of resources like water, dwindling capacity for food production, loss of individual and household incomes resulting in poverty conditions, hunger, unemployment, increased human-wildlife conflict and other social conflicts. The Tsavo Heritage Foundation (THF) was formed to mitigate these disruptions on the environment and livelihoods of communities in and the TEDA covering about 12 counties in Kenya (Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Makueni, Machakos, Kitui , Makueni and Nairobi) as well as the Kilimanjaro region in the Republic of Tanzania.
THF is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to restore and conserve the heritage of Tsavo Ecosystem in a holistic manner. In the course of its operations THF will work in partnership with County and National Governments, governmental agencies, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, the Taita Taveta University, other learning and research institutions, community based organisations and local communities to enhance efforts towards environmental conservation and improvement of livelihoods in and around the TEDA.
THF has set up a major fund to support the realisation of its objectives and fulfilment of her mandate.