Mar 24, 2015

DNRC Progress Report, Q1 2015

New shades over the tree nursery
New shades over the tree nursery

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

  • Continue to propagate more tree seedlings to meet our target
  • Train farmers on introduction to permaculture
  • Plan for June bi-annual farmer’s party
Farmers we're working with at a weekly meeting
Farmers we're working with at a weekly meeting
Office Manager Theresa Mbinya doing bookkeeping
Office Manager Theresa Mbinya doing bookkeeping
Dec 23, 2014

Q4 2014: The DNRC tree project continues to grow

Farmers carrying away their new tree seedlings
Farmers carrying away their new tree seedlings

Dear Supporters,

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.


Quarterly report

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:

  • Maiuni: 9,541 seedlings to 82 farmers 
  • Kimandi: 4,550 seedlings to 57 farmers 
  • Ivumbu: 2,990 seedlings to 33 farmers
  • Kyooni: 3,920 seedlings to 46 farmers
  • Kitandini:  865 seedlings to 20 farmers
  • Usalala: 2,128 seedlings to 27 farmers
  • Yiimbani: 1,920 seedlings to 19 farmers
  • Nduuni:  4,160 seedlings to 28 farmers
  • Kalimani:  2,855 seedlings to 40 farmers
  • Kivani:   3,315 seedlings to 38 farmers 
  • Iviani: 4,220 seedlings to 39 farmers

The following nearby schools were also given the following seedlings.


  • Maiuni Primary School (100 seedlings),
  • Lung’u Secondary School (150) 
  • Muthwani Secondary School (150).


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

Farmers enjoying the annual DNRC party
Farmers enjoying the annual DNRC party
Farmers dance to celebrate after planting trees
Farmers dance to celebrate after planting trees
Vegetables in our new office kitchen garden
Vegetables in our new office kitchen garden


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
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.