Tree sapling planting and distribution
The much awaited rains started to fall at the beginning of November 2012. DNRC was ready with a total of 32,200 tree seedlings (of 22 species) to plant. Immediately after the rains started, our over 300 farmers started coming for the seedlings at our tree nursery, so they could plant them in time to catch the first rains. Within the first week of the rains, we had issued 30,000 seedlings to our ever energized and engaged farmers. Each of the 300 farmers got an average of 100 seedlings. The seedlings cost Kshs each, on average. The farmers were able to pay Kshs 20,000 (US$ 240) immediately. The remaining Kshs 10,000 will be paid in installments over time.
DNRC also donated 100 tree seedlings to Maiuni primary school and 100 to Muthwani secondary school. The schoolchildren come from the same community as our farmers. After learning how to plant and raise trees in school, they will be more motivated to help their parents tend the trees they’ve planted at home. These donations also raise awareness and interest from families who haven’t worked with us yet. So it’s good for the school, good for the DNRC, and good for the families whose children attend the school.
Training and follow-ups
During the quarter, the farmers were trained in a range of forestry and farming techniques, with a focus on how to dig holes for saplings, add manure/ash and get ready for planting. Before the farmers were issued with the tree saplings, their holes were inspected and counted to match the number of seedlings to be issued. This is to make sure that farmers are committed to cultivating the trees (digging holes takes work and only pays off if the trees grow), that the trees have high survival rates, and that the seedlings are issued according to one’s ability to take care of them.
Three cisterns were funded during the quarter. The beneficiaries were Maiuni Primary School, which is building a food forest that will feed many children and need steady watering, and Mukita Nyolo and Tabitha kanywoki, in recognition for their outstanding woodlots.
DNRC priorities for the next few months
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DC - District of Columbia