Network for Ecofarming in Africa (NECOFA) has been involved in a number of activities both in Kokwa Island and Eldume village, Baringo county. Manitese which in Italian translates to ‘embracing with open arms’ started partnering with NECOFA two years ago in a number of projects. The first project involved capacity needs assessment for Indigenous Ogiek Community living in Marioshoni, support for construction of office, store and classroom for Kirepari primary school in Kokwa Island, rehabilitation of Eldume irrigation scheme and a new project on biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement for Indigenous Ogiek community, a project which was launched officially on their arrival.
The construction of Kirepari primary school in Kokwa island was initiated through the support of Friends of Kenya Schools and Wildlife (FKSW).
Last year Bruna from Manitese visited Kokwa Island accompanying her was Damiano who is a friend of Manitese and who was touched by the situation of the pupils he saw in Kirepari. The young school children attending the Pre-school could not be able to trek on foot to Kokwa island primary school from one side of the island, Kirepari, to Kokwa the reason being lack of infrastructures and public means of transport since no vehicles or motorbikes can manage in the island and hence the community came up with the idea of starting ‘a school under tree’ program to educate their young ones since the classroom available could not accommodate all the children. On seeing the young children under the tree, Damiano was very touched and through Manitese funded the project and by May when the two visited again a classroom, an office and a store had already been constructed. Two other classrooms are under construction from other well wishers. The community played a big role in the building of the classrooms through the provision of labor. The pupils can also enjoy clean rain harvested water, since the Lake. Baringo water is very rich in fluoride leading to dental problems.
Apart from Kokwa Island school project, Manitese is also involved in helping the Ilchamus community who are dominant of Eldume in rehabilitating the irrigation scheme. The scheme which mainly depends on water from Molo river to irrigate the semi arid Eldume required a canal to direct water to the scheme.. Following the heavy rains this year Molo river has collected water from the surrounding tributaries and is full. The Canal is still under construction. One major challenge which the Ilchamus community and other communities who depend on the Molo river are facing is protecting the river banks from the soil being washed away. Urgent action is to plant indigenous trees along the river banks to conserve it.