Drylands Natural Resources Centre

Our mission is to combat soil degradation and poverty in Kenya's drylands by enabling farmers to invest in reforestation using drought-resistant indigenous tree species.
Sep 23, 2014

Q3 2014: Visitors Help DNRC Prepare for October Rains

Stones are needed to secure water tanks
Stones are needed to secure water tanks

In the past three months, the DNRC has hosted many visitors, propoagated over 50,000 tree saplings, installed sixteen water tanks, and expanded its training programs with local schools. We now look forward to the October rains, ready to plant the saplings we have grown and to use our new office to start income generation programs.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee team visits

4 students from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM) led by Professor Dr Mai Phillips, visited from May-July 2014. They were majorly involved in installation of cisterns, working with our farmers and also in collecting data for the DNRC and for Nicholas Syano's PhD research. 

US Rotarians help install 16 water tanks

Rotarians from US came and, working side by side with the community, helped to install 16 cisterns. So far 57 cisterns of 10,000 litres each, have been installed in the community.

Tree nursery: over 50,000 saplings propagated and ready to plant in October

In the beginning of the year we had set a target of propagating 50,000 and we have bypassed it. During the quarter, we continued with propagation of trees and by the end of August we had 51,265 seedlings which are being watered and maintained to attain the required height to be planted in October rains. We also expanded the nursery and got more water storage tanks.We are engaging  more part-time workers to help in the expanded nursery, especially during this May-Oct dry spell. 

Training and follow up with farmers and local schools

The 11 groups we continue to work with and who make a total of 400 households continued to receive trainings both in classroom and also as individuals in their individual farms. DNRC continued to extend her services to three neighboring schools (Lung’u secondary school, Mutwani secondary school and Maiuni primary school) where we continue to work with the schools to establish food forests.Both schools have a total of 681 students and pupils.

Next quarter goals

  • Continue preparing holes for planting in the Oct-Nov rain
  • Expand our kitchen garden in the office
  • Initiate income generation activities for the DNRC, such as greenhouse, chickens and goats in the office

Longer-term goals

  • Power the office through solar energy
  • Build a store for tree products when the funds are available
Jenna from UW-M and farmers help install new tanks
Jenna from UW-M and farmers help install new tanks
Thanks for visiting Jenna and Angelica!
Thanks for visiting Jenna and Angelica!
Visiting Rotarians take a break.
Visiting Rotarians take a break.
51,000 saplings in our nursery are ready to plant
51,000 saplings in our nursery are ready to plant
New Melia Volkensii saplings have thrived so far
New Melia Volkensii saplings have thrived so far
Jun 23, 2014

June 2014 - DNRC Hosts Permaculture Design Students

UWSP Students and Community Install Water Tanks
UWSP Students and Community Install Water Tanks

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I hope you're well and enjoying the summer! In this report I'd like to talk to you about our work with a partner NGO, the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya (PRI-Kenya), and share some pictures from a 4-day course we held with them at our new office.

On June 5th-9th the DNRC hosted a group of Kenyan and American students (from the University of Wisconsin - Steven's Point) as part of a Permaculture Design course hosted by John Sheffy of the University of Wisconisn and PRI-Kenya.

PRI-Kenya is an organization dedicated to promoting permaculture research and practice across Kenya. It was co-founded by our Executive Director Nicholas Syano, who now chairs the board of the organization. The DNRC works closely with PRI-Kenya to gather and share useful learnings across NGO and community projects across Kenya. Please check out the links below to learn more about the organization.

John and his students joined the DNRC to learn about our seed propogation techniques, to see how we manage our nursery, install a water cistern, and to meet with some of our farmers. After a successful water cistern installation, they shared a celebratory lunch with hundreds of new friends, who treated them to some authentic Kamba dancing!

Outside of this, the DNRC has continued its work on the ground, and we are working hard on new efforts to increase our melia and moringa production, including a new partnership with Kuli Kuli Inc. ,which we will announce in July. 

We are still actively fundraising to equip our new office, install solid accounting and IT systems, and support our growing staff. If you have any money or time to spare, please consider donating or sharing our work with friends and family. 

Thank you again for your ongoing support and interest. It really is much appreciated.

Daniel

Everyone Gathers For Lunch Outside Our New Office
Everyone Gathers For Lunch Outside Our New Office
Massive Attendance Shows How Our Program Has Grown
Massive Attendance Shows How Our Program Has Grown
Post-Lunch Entertainment, Kamba-Style!
Post-Lunch Entertainment, Kamba-Style!

Links:

Mar 25, 2014

Q1 2014 Donor Update - New DNRC Office Built!

DNRC Office Almost Finished
DNRC Office Almost Finished

DNRC AGROFORESTRY PROJECT: JAN-MARCH 2014 PROGRESS REPORT

 

A. Announcing the First DNRC Office!

From 2007 until this month, the DNRC and its staff operated out of Nicholas Syano’s house and remote locations. Now, we finally have our own land and office building. This is a huge step forward for the DNRC, and our staff and the local community could not be happier. Our staff can now work more productively, and we can more easily host members of the community, academic researchers, and other visitors. The office will enable us to expand our impact, improve our operations, and maintain better communications with the local community.

The office was constructed with the financial and legal support of our partner organization, CCR, and with the help of many community members. It will be ready for use at the end of March.

Although the basic facility is now complete, we still need to furnish the office, install solar panels to power computers and lights, and install a water cistern to harvest more water for our tree nursery. 

Cash of in-kind donations for these furnishings would be much appreciated - if you would like to donate a specific item, please write to Daniel Pike at danieljamespika@gmail.com.

 

B. Training and Outreach Activities: 400 Farmers Visited and Trained

During this quarter, the 400 farmers working with DNRC were visited and trained in their individual farms on care and management of their trees. This was done by our training and outreach person, Fedelis Nzisa Charles. Fedelis also trained them on the application of biopesticides. In Feb. 2014, Nicholas Syano together with the other DNRC staff held a joint training of all the members at Maiuni Primary school.

 

C. Tree Nursery Activities: On Target For 50,000 Seedlings This Year

During the quarter, the nursery team lead by Lucas Munyao was able to propagate 14,480 different tree species and potted 32,000 pots for transferring the saplings. This is on target to achieve 50,000 seedlings during the year. Other activities included watering the seedlings and preparing nursery materials like soil gathering and mixing with manure.

 

D. Focus for Q2 2014: Harvesting and Selling Tree Products

1. Finishing, furnishing and  moving in to the new office

2. Continued seed propagation in the tree nursery

3. Reaching and training the 400 farmers now working with DNRC

4. Design and preparation for our first tree harvest in late 2014. (By harvesting high-value tree products in an environmentally sustainable manner, we aim to generate significant revenue for the DNRC and over two hundred member farmers)

5. Grant applications and fundraising to support harvest design and new monitoring and evaluation teams

DNRC Staff Excited About Their New Office
DNRC Staff Excited About Their New Office
Joint Training for Farmers
Joint Training for Farmers
Nicholas Syano
Nicholas Syano's Tree Care and Management Training
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