Archive for the ‘Forest conservation and management.’ Category


NECOFA in partnership with People in Peril Association (PIPA) and Slow Food Central Rift chapter, have undertaken a bold step towards promoting peaceful coexistence of food and trees communities living in Molo district and currently involved in a project; Decreasing the degradation of Mau Ecosystem,through active involvement of local communities targeting Koibatek forest, funded by Slovak Aid.

By engaging communities from different tribes to participate in Koibatek  forest expeditions, not only to appreciate and respect the benefits of a well conserved forest but to engage the communities in networking as one big community regardless of tribe, and putting their differences aside for the sake of peace and development. The expeditions are moments of learning from one another, as they describe indigenous trees in terms of their different languages, as they give the different uses of the diverse plants, and they realize how wonderful it is to spend time together learning and sharing which can only be achieved in a peaceful environment. The organizations hope to engage the different communities in expeditions to tap the opportunity to create more awareness on the importance of peaceful coexistence especially in this year of elections, so as to avoid going back to previous scenarios of violence, where many of these communities were adversely affected. It is also an opportunity for communities to understand their role in participatory forest management.Image

Socio Economic Development, Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity protection of the Ogiek Community, Mariashoni.

Apiary Establishment

Beekeeping is one of the major socio-economic activities carried of by the indigenous Ogiek community in Mariashoni location. Traditionally the activity was carried out by men, particularly the elderly in the community. Young men accompanied their fathers to the site where they had placed their traditional log hives and were taught the traditional ways of rearing bees and the trees on which beehives should be hung. One of the most common trees used for the placement of hive is red cedar. It’s also utilized for making of log hive due to its nature of lasting for ages and resistance to pests like termites. In terms of fodder the community prefers the use of Dobeya species whose flower acts as bee fodder. These flower give the Ogiek honey its signature whitish grey color and unique taste.

Given the available potential in both local and international markets available for Ogiek to take advantage of. Production of honey for commercial and consumption purposes remain relatively low due to the lack of/ inadequate proper equipment for beekeeping and management, processing equipment and inadequate knowledge on beekeeping. These factors lead to low honey yield annually, low competitiveness of the honey in the domestic market and low income from the beekeeping enterprise.

With the ongoing project in Mariashoni location, Necofa in partnership with Manitese (An Italian N.G.O) set out to improve the current state of beekeeping in Mariashoni. Their objective being to enhance the Ogiek community’s knowledge on beekeeping, to increase the honey output in the location and to increase household income for families undertaking beekeeping activities. To achieve this. project is working with eight community groups who have already been trained on beekeeping and management. These groups will be supported with hives, and beekeeping equipments so as to establish their apiaries. The apiaries will acts as educational and training centers for both group members and community members. Demonstrations will be undertaken there to make sure that all members gain the skill necessary to establish apiaries on their own. The group apiaries will also help in increasing the revenue for individual groups. The honey will be processed in the newly established workshop at Mariashoni center.
The eight groups working in collaboration with Necofa include:
1. Kaptembwa self-help group
2. Ogiek East Mau beekeeping self help group
3. Taparia self-help group
4. Imani youth group
5. Besin Visionary network self-help group
6. Samitap Kapkeringet self-group
7. Kolanda self-help group
8. Ongeset self-help group

Already groups have been supported with Hives and beekeeping equipment while the other four will be supplied with hive in September and October 2012. The number of hive supplied is 35 Kenya Top Bar Hive (KTBH), 25 Langstroth hives, 25 Log hives. The table below shows the distribution of hives.

Environmental clubs establishment.

Four schools have been trained on the establishment of environmental/ 4 K clubs. The training mainly focused on leadership and management, diverse activities that clubs can carry out in the school, record keeping and benefits of being environmental club members.
The four schools that have undergone the training include:
1. Mariashoni Primary School
2. Ndoswa Primary School
3. Kaprop Primary School
4. Oinoptich Primary School
These clubs consist of 44, 38, 29, 41 members respectively. Each school has set aside a piece of land which will be used for establishing a botanical garden planted with local indigenous trees and plant species native to the Mau ecosystem. The botanical garden will also consist of local medicinal plants varieties and edible herbs and vegetables native to the areas. This will aid the students in learning about their local traditional food culture and also the significance of each plant species to the community; considering that very few of them have a deeper understanding of their local traditional culture. It will also help them in understanding the need for environmental conservation in the Mau Forest Ecosystem.

Tree Nurseries Establishment
The project has also supported local self-help group to establish Tree nurseries in the community. The support included nursery maintenance and work tools, and seed. These Nurseries include:
1. Imani Youth Group
2. Jamii Empowerment SHG
3. Besin Visionary SHG
4. Taparia SHG

These groups were trained on tree nurseries establishment and management, Record Keeping, resource mobilization and marketing to help them sustain their groups in the long run. These tree nurseries will be raising both indigenous tree species and exotic agroforestry trees. The seedlings from the nurseries will be sold to local communities for agroforestry purposes and some to other stakeholders e.g. Kenya Forest service and other non-governmental organization who participate in reforestation activities in the region to help restore the Mau Forest Ecosystem. The groups will engage themselves in the collection of seedlings from the forest to enable them gather seedlings that are native to the Mau Forest and have a cultural bond with the Ogiek community. These nurseries will also be used as learning centers for community members who are not familiar with the local tree species and to promote the conservation of local biodiversity. The group also helps to cultivate entrepreneurial skill amongst the members thus acting as income generation activities for the community members.

MACODEV’s Activities

The Mariashoni Community Development SHG, which was formed recently has been engaging itself in the popularization of its initiatives in the community. They have been conducting meetings and barazas with community members so at to engage them to participate more actively in the process of community development. To strengthen their capacity to operate more efficiently the project supported them with a one day training for it’s committee members. The training entailed Leadership and Management, Record Keeping Resources Mobilization, roles and responsibilities of committee members and growth and development of an organization. The CBO has also been coordinating the honey procurement from local farmers. This activity is ongoing considering that the harvesting season is approaching thus the CBO is trying to acquire as much as they can so that it can be refined at the Mariashoni honey refinery, then certified for by the Kenya Bureau of Standards. After the honey is certified the CBO will be in charge of Marketing the honey countrywide thus providing a path way for Mariashoni Ogiek community to be able to earn some decent compensation for their honey production without being exploited by the middlemen who buy it at a throw away price. Other areas of the CBO engagement include commercialization of locally produced milk, wool purchase and value addition and pyrethrum commercialization and popularization in the area.


Network for Eco farming in Africa(NECOFA) in partnership with Ministry of Agriculture Molo District, Ministry of Education, Kenya Forestry Service are collaborating in a project dubbed “Promoting Students Participation in Agro-Forestry Practices For Environmental Conservation”

Project targets areas are in Molo,Sachang’wan,Turi and Elburgon divisions of Molo District. The target beneficiaries are;

        >School youths


        >Vulnerable households

    The goal of the project is to contribute to the restoration of the Mau forest ecosystem.

This aims at giving youths a chance to participate in the restoration of the ever decreasing forest cover in the society.

The launch was held at Michinda boarding primary school and was attended by officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, five community groups, six schools i.e. Michinda,Mukinyai,Chandera,Tumaini,Nyakiambi and Mariashoni secondary schools.

The venue provided a perfect case study for the schools and communities who will be implementing the NMK project, the participants had a chance to visit the school garden which was established by the 4K club in collaboration with Necofa-Kenya and Slow Food Central Rift Convivium, learn about various gardening techniques, crop diversity and nursery management.

 The students interacted and shared ideas on environmental conservation, a perfect example was from Chandera Secondary School whose members of the environmental club are in the process of establishing a cottage industry which will train people on ways to recycle waste papers by making manila papers, necklaces and other ornaments which will be sold and the money will help fund club activities and create a gainful activity for the jobless majority.

Michinda Secondary school has already set the ball rolling by organizing a tree planting day before breaking for the holidays and they have set a 200 seedlings mark for planting.

The event was attended by a total of 115 participants.


Supporting Vulnerable Community Members to Adapt and Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change

Over the last two decades, climate change has become a major environmental issue. The prediction that climate change effects will be more frequent and intensive is a raising concern especially among vulnerable communities. Solving the problems of climate change and reducing its inevitable negative effect require individual and global cooperation.

The destruction of the Mau forest and the degradation of its ecosystem has had adverse effect to the communities that depend on it for their livelihoods. This has resulted in rapid deforestation, unreliable rainfall patterns which disrupt the farmers’ agricultural calendar and firewood shortage. There is need to equip the communities with the necessary skill to enable them to cope with this situation

Necofa Kenya in collaboration with PIPA (People in Peril Association) a Slovak NGO have been implementing a project whose major focus is to aid the community to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change. The two organizations started with the donations of trees seedlings to both schools and the community. This was done to encourage the community to initiate/ practice farm forestry, as a way of ensuring they have a way of sustaining their fuel needs. The schools that received trees seedlings included Tabain primary school, Maigoya, Kapsorok, Sachang’wan sec, Koige pri & sec school, Tuyoitich primary school and Mwangi Michuki primary school.
They also donated energy saving jikos (stoves) to the vulnerable members of the community in Jogoo, Sachang’wan, Mukinyai and Giteru villages in Molo District. They organized trainings and demonstration on the installation of the Jiko Liners (stoves) where all the vulnerable members of the community were trained on the installation and maintenance. This is all in the spirit of a greener Africa.

Students from Koige Sec. Molo,

Pupils from Jogoo primary school.

“It is the little things that citizens do that will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees” By Prof. Wangari Maathai.

Necofa Kenya in conjunction with People in Peril Association, Slow food central rift convivium, Slow food International, WRUA, MEAP and YGEP organized a tree planting day/ceremony in honor of the late Professor Wangari Maathai at Tabaini primary school. The participants included the members of staff and students from two primary schools and one secondary school from Kamara location in Molo district.

This event was graced by Necofa Kenya country coordinator Mr. Samuel Muhunyu and Slow Food International vice president John Kariuki. Mr. Samuel Muhunyu emphasized on the importance of environmental conservation as way of mitigating the effects of climate change in Kenya and globally.
He recognized the role of the Professor Maathai in environmental conservation and her desire to collaborate with the rural folks in uplifting their livelihoods,let us all reflect on her work and the best gift we can give our departed heroine is to emulate her and carry on the torch of hope and to continue to protect biodiversity with more vigour, zeal and determination. Yes, her successes should inspire all of us to carry on her dreams for the earth. Long live the dream she put in all of us.

He also emphasized to the school going youths on the importance of hard work and discipline since investing in the youths is investing in sustainability and posterity. A total of 1000 trees were planted during this occasion.

John Kariuki,Slow Food International Vice President.

Jogoo Secondary School.

Cheptoo from Tabain Primary School says a word of prayer for Departed Heroine, Prof. Maathai

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Mr. Muhunyu and Mr. Chege from Necofa.

Launching of the Mariashoni Community Action Plan

On June 25th 2011 Necofa Kenya in collaboration with the Ogiek community and stakeholders involved came together with the aim of launching the community action plan (CAP). The CAP was as a result of comprehensive, participatory needs assessment of the Ogiek community of Mariashoni location, Molo district. These activities and workshops were facilitated by officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Necofa, Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and provincial administration.

The process of preparing the CAP involved an in-depth analysis of both development and social issues affecting the communities living within the Mau forest area. Together the facilitators and the community members participated in forums discussing the different issue affecting the community. The members of the community were divided into 4 groups i.e. Elders, Women, Male youths and Female youths. This was to ensure that each group could feel at ease to communicate all their issues without fear and intimidation from other gender and age group. These respective groups were facilitated by the respective genders e.g. Elders forums were facilitated by Men and women’s forum was facilitated by a female facilitator. These PRA forums contributed greatly to the compilation of the CAP, which details all problems in the location and their proposed solutions.
The launching Festival was organized by Ogiek youths who were assisted by the Necofa team in the organization and planning. They prepared delicious traditional dishes accompanied by mursik. The launching festival was started with forums as they were initially conducted during the P.R.A forums these were followed by a meal prepared by the community and after there was an entertainment session where a group of Mariashoni primary school student performed some traditional dances. The youths of Mariashoni also performed some cultural dances. After the dance the audience proceeded to the next session where they planted more than 200 trees in Mariashoni primary school. This is one of the major areas where Necofa has put a lot of effort in reforestation and conservation of the environment especially with the restoration of the Mau forest.

Climate change Interventions!

Climate change phenomena is a complex and challenging global issue.  These changes has greatly impacted on the agricultural production and other related activities especially to  small scale farmers who wholly depend on rain fed  agriculture.

Network for Ecofarming in Africa (NECOFA) works with community groups, promoting environmental friendly concerns for poverty eradication, food and nutrition security.  During its activities with the groups, the organization learnt the impact posed on communities livelihoods hence necessitated the need for capacity building on climate issue.   Some of the groups involved in the programme included Tazama Mbele Self Help Group, Karunga women group, Utugi Self help group and Nganoine self help group.

A challenge leads to invention, after going through different lessons on importance of respecting our environment, the groups has taken different initiatives to enhance mitigation and adapt   to climate change i.e. Nganoine and Utugi self help groups are growing drought resistant crops e.g. pumpkin, sorghum and indigenous vegetables.  Besides growing the crops, they have also taken initiative of adding value e.g. drying pumpkins and grinding to flour to prolong the shelf life.  The flour is used to blend other types of flour and make stew  to improve the nutrition value.

Other groups like Karunga women group, Tazama Mbele, Vision self help group and others with support from Necofa established indigenous tree nurseries in focus to rehabilitate forest and also plant on individual farms.  Besides rehabilitation of the forest, the groups will sell to the community at affordable price hence ensuring sustainability of the project.  To date the groups has nurseries with a total of more than 20,000 seedlings each  which are ready for planting.