Forestry training & finance for 450 farms in Kenya

by Drylands Natural Resources Centre

DRYLANDS NATURAL RESOURCES CENTER (DNRC) PROGRESSIVE REPORT FOR SEPT-NOV. 2015
Introduction
Receive much greetings from DNRC family. We want to say thank you so much for your continued support which is enabling us to continue implementing DNRC goal of promoting sustainable development of Natural Resources of the dryland regions of Kenya in order to being improved livelihoods of marginalized communities and people living there. Our model of improving the environment, social welfare and economical empowerment is slowly shaping up as we are getting success stories from our 450 farmers we are working with. Farmers are already getting fruits from the old trees, selling moringa power from moringa leaves, firewood, poles and the microclimate is changing with stories of more rains than before and the region becoming cooler as well.
This quarter we were mainly working on issuing tree seedlings to the farmers to plant because it’s a rainy season. We managed to issue over 50,000 seedlings to the farmers and of different species mainly for fodder, fruits, fuel, timber, conservation and for medicine.
During this 3 months period, the following activities took place.
Tree Nursery
The main activities in our tree nursery were to maintain and issue tree seedlings to the farmers to plant. We issued over 50,000 seedlings to our 450 farmers and six schools we are working with in the area. Farmers have now planted and so far the seedlings are doing great because this time round we have been blessed with good rains.(See attached pictures)


Training/ Outreach program
During the quarter, DNRC staff mainly helped the schools to prepare and plant trees in the compound (establish food forests).This quarter we recruited 3 more schools making a total of 6 schools (4 Primary and 2 Secondary Schools).They were also trained on how to tend and take care of young tree seedlings (see attached pictures)

Other activities
We established swales in DNRC site to harvest rain water for our farms and also for demonstration to the farmers to emulate in their individual farms.( see attached pictures)

Limited water supply during the dry spell

  • Transport of the seedlings for the farmers to their individual farms.
  • Focus For the Next Quarter.
  • End of year get-together with the farmers.
  • Preparing work plans for next year




Attachments:

Introduction.
Greetings from all of us from DNRC family. We say thank so much for your continued support through global giving. Because of your continued support and partnership, DNRC continue to better serve our 430 small scale farmers. The impact slowly building up. More than 400,000 different and local tree species have been planted in the region. The farmers are already getting some income from the planted trees especially Moringa oleifera, fruits and firewood from branches of the older trees. The microclimate is continue to change and the crop yields are increasing due to less erosion, more water retention, organic matter build up and increased humidity from evapotraspiration from the trees. The community is more strengthened more than before as they see how much they can achieve together than working alone.
Thank you again. Wishing you well, all of you in whatever you do.
The following activities took place during this quarter in our different departments.

The Tree Nursery
The set target for the year is to propagate 55,000 diversified tree seedlings. During the quarter, 39,710 seedlings were propagated; making the accumulated seedlings so to 51,000 seedlings. These seedlings continue to be maintained in the nursery till October – Dec when the farmers will be issued to plant in their individual farms.

Farmer’s training/ outreach program.
During the quarter, the outreach staff continued to train the farmers and mainly on trees focusing more on food forest/woodlots. Farmers continue to prepare for the forth coming tree planting season which is during this Oct-Dec rains. DNRC outreach staff continued in guiding them in the holes preparation and treatment. One more primary school was recruited during the quarter and is expected to start their food forest/woodlot this coming rainy season. This makes the total schools working with DNRC to 4 schools. (2 Secondary and 2 Primary schools).

Bi- Annual Party.
During this quarter the farmers met at DNRC site to celebrate our Bi- annual party. Each year the farmers come together twice to cook and eat together as they share their experiences and encourage each other as they work together to regenerate their environment, strengthen their social fabric and improve their economical wellbeing. The event saw a lot of activities including skits, poems, speeches and traditional dances all with the theme of tree planting.

Challenges
• Limited water for our expanding nursery and this being our driest time of the year we are spending more finances on water provision.
Focus for the next quarter
• Maintain the tree nursery and propagate more to attain our 55,000 seedlings target.
• Farmer follow- ups on tree hole preparation and manuring.
• Planning for the end of year farmers get together.

Challenges
• Limited water for our expanding nursery and this being our driest time of the year we are spending more finances on water provision.


Focus for the next quarter
• Maintain the tree nursery and propagate more to attain our 55,000 seedlings target.
• Farmer follow- ups on tree hole preparation and manuring.
• Planning for the end of year farmers get together.


Attachments:

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.

  • Continue to propagate more seedlings in the nursery and general maintenance
  • Continue training farmers and focus on preparation for planting next season

Attachments:
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
Farmers we're working with at a weekly meeting
Office Manager Theresa Mbinya doing bookkeeping
Office Manager Theresa Mbinya doing bookkeeping
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

Links:

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Organization Information

Drylands Natural Resources Centre

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​www.dnrckenya.org
Project Leader:
Daniel Pike
Washington, DC - District of Columbia United States
$35,224 raised of $35,000 goal
 
382 donations
$0 to go
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