OAID was started from a campaign in 2003 on the conservation of the Mau forest. Partners with WWF, Action aid Kenya forest working groups and its main activities involved advocacy on environmental issues and conflict resolutions. Working around Mau Complex, it has had a number of challenges among them caused by timber harversters and land grabbers Forest cover has been under threat from various illegal activities such as timber harvesting, charcoal burning and grazing.
The water tower faced multiple threats that impinged negatively on its natural capacity. These include: clearing of trees, charcoal burning, forest fires, deforestation, illegal settlements and deep soil erosion that leads to sedimentation of the rivers and streams.
Resulting from these illegal activities, decreased water volume from the forest coupled with improper farming techniques meant that the communities living around the forest suffered from diminishing food crop production. Food insecurity in turn led to conflicts among the communities.
When Mau was invaded by settlers and timber harvesters, all rivers in Nakuru went dry and even the lakes were almost wiped out because the water sources in the forest were destroyed.
Mau complex timber harvesters have been accused of a number of issues among them: evicting locals and possessing their native land for forest plantations without compensation. This has affected local community (Ogiek) who most depend on indigenous forests for their survival, working closely with some Kenya Forest and Nema officials to harvest timber in restricted areas, harvesting and replacing indigenous forest with fast-growing softwoods like eucalyptus has changed weather patterns and affected river flow in the region. Water levels in various lakes has also been linked with illegal activities being carried by timber harvesters in the region and a number of human rights violations have been reported caused by KFS who act on behalf of timber harvesters. Among them include rape in the forests, barring locals from harvesting firewood in designated areas.