The following are the main activities achieved during this quarter.
The Tree nursery.
During this quarter we were able to propagate 14,350 different tree seedlings making a total of 25, 460 seedlings propagated since Jan this year. This is on target of propagating approximately 55,000 seedlings by the end of the year. Labeling of the tree species in the nursery was also done during the quarter.
Farmer’s training / Outreach program
During the quarter, 213 farmers were trained on gapping and introduction to food forest establishment. 29 farmers and 2 secondary schools were visited at their individual farms and advised accordingly.
Bi- annual party
As part of community regeneration and strengthening social capital; DNRC farmers come together twice per year to eat, share and have fun together. The bi-annual party this quarter took place on 12th of June 2015. Almost all the 430 farmers attended the function and was very successful. Famers had fun, shared ideas and interacted with each other thus strengthening the social fabric. Many visitors including government officials in charge of Kenya Forest service in the County attended the function.
Focus for Next Quarter.
Thank you for your continuing support of the DNRC
Your continuous and generous donations are enabling us to support 430 farmers in taking care of their fragile dryland environment by planting over 40,000 different tree seedlings every year.
These trees are growing, and within ten years each tree is ready for harvesting for firewood, timber and timber products, fruits, herbs, fodder for animals, etc. As they plant trees together as a group and through group trainings and filed visits, the social fabric of the communities we serve is being strengthened. This approach you’re funding is continuously creating a sustainable community by delivering on core aims of sustainable development: environmental protection, economical viability and social wellbeing. By measuring the impact and documenting what is working and not, we hope eventually to replicate this model to other similar drylands environment in Kenya and other parts of east Africa.
So we say Asante Sana (thank you so much)!
The following are the activities which took place during the first quarter of 2015:
Tree Nursery program
The target for this year is to propagate 55,000 tree seedlings in our nursery which has been moved to our offices. During the last 3 months, 11,290 different trees have already been propagated and are being managed in the nursery.
The challenge we are facing in the tree nursery is inadequate water supply because we don’t have a well on site. We use donkeys to fetch the water from a nearby river (which is seasonal). We are considering more permanent solutions, such as digging a shallow well on site.
Farmer’s training/outreach program
During the quarter, the DNRC training and outreach staff continued to train, field visit, and follow up with the 430 farmers. Majorly, the farmers were trained on tree management, food forest establishment and importance of trees. One farmer was recruited making a total of 430 farmers. This is the number we want to work with during this year.
Also during this quarter, Fedelis Nzisa Charles (training/outreach officer) attended a training as from 21st- 30th Jan 2015. The training focused on introduction to permaculture and its implementation in schools. Since we are working with 3 schools in establishing food forests for environmental conservation and food security, this knowledge is useful for our work.
The challenge being faced by our farmers is dry weather which is causing about 10% of the small tree seedlings to dry. We are addressing this problem by adopting water conservation techniques such as water micro catchments, cover crops, and tree holes treated with biochar to retain water.
During this quarter, the office work was mainly preparing both narrative and financial report for NGO council annual returns. Other activities included staff meetings and briefings.
Focus for next quarter
Thank you for your continuing support of the DNRC.
Thanks to your donations, we have thrived as an organization, and met our original goal of helping 400 farmers living in poverty in semi-arid Kenya to learn and apply agroforestry techniques. These farmers are now using drought-resistant trees to improve the health of their soils and the productivity of their land.
Also thanks to your support, we are now $2,624 short of achieving our original $25,000 fundraising goal, and only $1,624 away from becoming one of GlobalGiving's "Superstar" projects. By becoming a Superstar project, we will gain priority ranking on GlobalGiving and become eligible for new fundraising opportunitines.
Please help us raise the last $1,600 we need to become a Superstar project by setting up a small monthly recurring donation before the end of the year. Monthly recurring donations will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving until the end of 2014.
Thank you again for your support so far, and please enjoy our update on our work this quarter in the report below.
In the final three months of 2014, the DNRC distributed a record number of tree seedlings (over 40,000) to eleven village community groups, three schools, and 439 farmers. We also helped each of those 429 farmers prepare their land for agroforestry and tree planting, held social gatherings to strengthen the bonds within and across each of the eleven community groups, and established a kitchen garden at the office to feed visitors and staff and use as a demonstration tool for the local community.
Tree seedling production and distribution
The total tree seedlings in the nursery before issuance during the Oct-Dec rains was 51,265 seedlings. During the rainy season, 40,864 seedlings were issued to 11 village groups:
The following nearby schools were also given the following seedlings.
The remaining seedlings are being sold on the open market to generate revenue for the DNRC.
Farmer outreach and training
During the quarter, most of the activities under the outreach program were to train farmers, provide support as needed, and then confirm that farmers dug holes properly, and in the right placement, before the rains arrived. We visited 429 farmers multiple times. Each was provided with tree seedlings according to the number of holes dug.
Strengthening bonds within and across community groups
Every year we have the farmers coming together for a party whose aim is to strengthen social fabric within and across each of the eleven communities we serve, through eating, singing, sharing experiences of tree planting, socializing and supporting each other.
This year the party took place on 11th Dec 2014. The party involved a lot of food including slaughtering 3 goats, chapattis and soft drinks. Also a lot of singing and dancing as the farmers celebrated their achievements.
The kitchen garden
We have established kitchen garden in the office to provide vegetables for our staff/visitors meals.
Different vegetables grown next to the office in our new kitchen garden
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
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.
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