We are in the basin of the Molo river, which originates from the Mau forest and flows into Lake Baringo, one of the areas on the one hand strategic for the country’s food security and on the other chronically affected by climatic and environmental crises, due to land degradation and intensive exploitation of forest resources. In particular, we highlight: upstream erosion, reduction of water conservation and soil fertility; downstream, reduction of the rainfall regime and the flow of rivers, with unpredictable flood peaks and consequent frequent floods.
Environmental degradation particularly affects small-scale farmers and ranchers, who watch helplessly, and unwittingly contribute to the continuing deterioration of their living conditions.
NECOFA Kenya is the local section of a network present in 13 Sub-Saharan African countries, made up of African agronomists expert in eco-sustainable agriculture, interested in research and dissemination in the continent of related practices through teaching and community. In Kenya he works with 176 community groups.
Nakuru, Nakuru County, Kenya
Molo, Nakuru County, Kenya
Marigat, Baringo County, Kenya
The project, lasting three years (started in May 2014), aimed at reducing the poverty rate (estimated at around 50%) of small farmers and ranchers in the Molo river basin:
- continuing with the actions already in place for the recovery and protection of the environment;
- enhancing the two economically most important products of the area: the potato, the second staple food in Kenya, in the upper basin and goat meat in the lower basin;
- organizing and supporting small producer associations.
Counties of Nakuru and Baringo,Districts of Molo, Rongai,Mogoito and Marigat,
14,000 farmers 4,000 producers 650 community leaders 500 students and teachers
- Reduction of the exploitation of forest resources. Over 60% of households use wood as a fuel for domestic use with an unsustainable anthropogenic pressure on forest resources. Over 30 meetings were held to raise awareness on the subject, during which the importance of special land dedicated to the cultivation of wood plants and energy-saving stoves was discussed.
As regards the first topic, after the awareness-raising meetings 700,000 seedlings of fast-growing species of high commercial value at maturity were distributed.
Energy-saving cookers have the task of reducing the use of wood, with obvious repercussions on family costs and the work of women, and to eliminate unbearable smoke pollution in cooking rooms. In our case they are of simple construction and equally easy to repair, thus making dissemination and conservation easier. 15,000 cookers have been distributed to 7,500 families in 60 different locations. At the same time, a group of installers and maintainers was also created.
- Soil rehabilitation: improvement of water retention, reduction of erosion and flooding on agricultural land. After a series of information meetings, work began in 30 demonstration camps with 750 people. These camps are real classrooms without walls for the training of sustainable agriculture techniques, but also for the rediscovery of traditional horticultural crops, which are gradually lost, despite the high nutritional intake, due to the standardization of crops.
The construction of 5 new nurseries for subsequent reforestation activities, in addition to the 25 resulting from previous projects, involved 25 groups for a total of 520 people, mainly women and young people, who were supported with tools, materials and training sessions.
And therefore 60 km of embankments along the Molo river were strengthened by the families living in the vicinity, to whom 450,000 plants were distributed, also useful for the impact on the income they produce.
- Strengthening of existing organizations of small agricultural producers and organization of marketing chains. Two cooperatives were supported with training, equipment and the construction of operational headquarters: one for potato producers in the upper basin of the Molo, and one for the storage and treatment of goat skins in the lower basin. The first, with 650 members, is now well underway and handles several hundred thousand kilos of potatoes every year. The second, with 201 members, is still in the running-in phase. In addition to the members, the two cooperatives also donate their products to other small non-member producers.
- Participation of small producers in the definition of local agricultural policies. Two numbers are enough to give an idea of the need for this phase of the project: agricultural activity represents about 75% of the entire local economy, but collects only 6% of the public resources allocated. To give representation to legitimate local instances, 35 training sessions were therefore carried out, involving about 500 people and identifying community leaders, 2 meetings with local authorities and the appointment of a woman of the people as a representative of farmers at the level of county. In addition, civic education was conducted in 4 secondary schools in the area.
I am Samuele Tini, from Cigliano in the province of Varese. Service for rural communities and development is my way of life. For more than a decade I have been living in Africa. When I finished my studies, I decided not to leave the continent, but instead staying in Mozambique, Tanzania, Guinea Bissau, Sudan and now I am in Kenya. I have worked with Mani Tese for many years, with daily passion to commitment for justice that distinguishes the association. Currently I am the responsible for country Kenya. The major challenge, alongside our local […]