Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya

by Sadhana Forest Kenya
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Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
Long-Term Food Security for 4000 Samburus in Kenya
NaiborKeju School
NaiborKeju School

It’s been a whirlwind few months, but now that the drought and elections are behind us, we can happily report positive growth at Sadhana Forest Kenya.

The drought took a hefty toll, but we have recently had plenty of heavy rainfalls.  Our water catchment ponds are full and we’re seeing lots of green!  We continue our water management efforts to make best use of the rainwater. Our main focus over the last few months has been monitoring trees planted around people's homes. This has given us the opportunity to provide supplementary personally-targeted training; emphasizing the importance of protection and mulch for the trees.  We have observed a great improvement in quality of fences built and tree care given by recipients.  Strong fences ensure animals won’t nibble away the young trees, while mulch protects the soil from drying out in the hard, hot sun.

Since our last report, we have planted 55 trees, mostly in an area called ‘Naibor Keju’.  Here, we have recently held an intensive training for the school children and the local community.  We worked with their grade 7 and 8 classes’ Environmental Club to have an educational conversation about climate change, the importance of trees, and an inclusive discussion on environmental issues in general.  Afterwards, together, we planted 4 trees on the school compound.  Our efforts were welcomed with enthusiasm and we are eager to return there to plant more trees.

We are so grateful for our volunteers and the support from the GlobalGiving community.  If you are interested in providing us further feedback concerning our project, finding out more about our activities or area of operation, or would like to volunteer with us, please contact us here or email us directly kenya@sadhanaforest.org.  We also strongly encourage you to provide feedback at the end of this report.

Ashe Oleng! (Thank you very much in Kisamburu)

NaiborKeju Community
NaiborKeju Community
Water Catchment Pond
Water Catchment Pond
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Installing the New Wind Turbine
Installing the New Wind Turbine

The drought is done!  The rains have returned!   During our first big shower at the start of each rainy season, we walk the land to observe where the water runs, drains, and pools in relation to current (and visualized) infrastructure, gardens, and trees.  This way, we best plan our water conservation improvements such as digging down for water catchment or building up for water rerouting.  Water will always tell the truth about the earth’s contours!

We have some very exciting news!  As many of you may know, Sadhana Forest Kenya is “off-grid”, powering everything through our own solar and wind energy system.  After many months of our original wind turbine being out of service, we now have a brand new one up and spinning!  While we mainly rely on our solar energy, having the wind turbine is a perfect complement to this system.  There is nearly always some level of wind blowing through our land, so even on the least sunny days, we can be certain that we will still generate power to pump water and power our free phone-charging station for the community.  Additionally, we have installed a water filtration system for our free community water station.  While our water source is already safe, this filter ensures a proper mineral balance.

As we have continued to plant trees, offer training sessions to our neighbours, and maintain the Sadhana Forest Kenya land, we recently had a special visit from a local youth group called Kikora.  Here, they experienced a different way of life; living vegan and zero-waste, cooking meals together, and helping to take care of the land.  And, of course, they learned all about trees and planted some themselves.  They said they loved it and they want to come back every day!

Sadhana Forest Kenya faced some challenges during the drought, but, we’ve made it through and we continue to look towards a green future!  
We are so grateful for our volunteers and the support from the GlobalGiving community.  If you are interested in providing us further feedback concerning our project, finding out more about our activities or area of operation, or would like to volunteer with us, please contact us here or email us directly at kenya@sadhanaforest.org.  We also strongly encourage you to provide feedback at the end of this report.

Bicycle-Powered Blender
Bicycle-Powered Blender
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Volunteers During Drought
Volunteers During Drought

If you have read news for Kenya recently, you know that we are in the midst of a long, harsh drought.  It is extremely challenging for the herdsmen and everyone; but let’s not perpetuate that grim picture.  This report brings good news, signs of growth and, not just a positive future to come, but a positive reality of what is happening here now.

Here at Sadhana Forest Kenya we do more than “just” plant trees.  We live by example, striving towards a sustainable way of life.  We use what we need; no more.  We take care of our land and each other.  The growth of our eleven hectares training and demonstration center has brought countless species of birds and a diversity of other living beings.  The most telling sign of progress so far has been a pair of Brown Parrots visiting us regularly now for the last month.  This is a forest bird, rarely seen in the degraded lands that surround us.  As our Samburu neighbour and Community Liaison, Mark, says: “It is a sign that Sadhana Forest is really becoming a forest”.  Despite the drought, we continue to plant trees on our land and at the homesteads of our neighbours.  Our above-ground method of planting, combined with wick-irrigation bottles, and a well-researched variety of geographically-appropriate, resilient tree species, has resulted in a drought-resistant yield.

Did you know…? You can host your very own fundraiser for Sadhana Forest Kenya through Global Giving!  You can help raise awareness and funds for SFK by pledging your birthday, an event, planting some trees, or anything else you come up with.  Get inspired by clicking on the “Start a Fundraiser” link at the bottom right corner of our project page.  It’s easy and fun!  You really can help make a difference for Samburu County.

We are so grateful for our volunteers and the support from the Global Giving community.  If you are interested in providing us further feedback concerning our project, finding out more about our activities or area of operation, or would like to volunteer with us, please contact us here or email us directly at kenya@sadhanaforest.org.  We also strongly encourage you to provide feedback at the end of this report.

Ashe Oleng! (Thank you very much in Kisamburu)

Red-Cheeked Cordon Bleu
Red-Cheeked Cordon Bleu
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Mark Training
Mark Training

Mark, our Community Liaison Officer at Sadhana Forest Kenya, comes from Lksheki; a village of about 200 households where people are herdsmen and small-scale farmers.  Mark has played a key role in the successes of SFK and we would love to tell you more about him!

During his 20's and 30's, Mark worked in the Kenyan military.  He was based in Nairobi but travelled across all roads of Kenya as a driver, ferrying soldiers to various borders of the country for security.  In the year 2000, he came back to Samburu County and worked with the Red Cross and World Food Programme for about six years driving supplies and food relief.  After that, he volunteered himself to provide education around his village; he assisted in various schools, teaching young children how to read and write, including teaching English.

A typical day for Mark, at Sadhana Forest Kenya, starts around 7:00 am.  First, he checks on trees (especially during dry times) and, liaising with management and other workers, he helps to co-ordinate the day's tasks.  Mostly, these tasks revolve around tree planting in the community as well as giving trainings in our Community Agro-Forestry Learning Centre, schools, villages, and sometimes in trading centers (some of the small towns nearby).  "I love it.  I love to work with the community, especially when conserving the environment" stated Mark.

Mark has a wife and five children; four boys and one girl; four in school, and one just 8 months old.  Since starting with Sadhana Forest, he says he has seen very many changes in his family, especially food and clothing.  He says "To get those now is easy, before I was struggling to find money for clothing and for school fees, and now I am OK."  Mark has planted 30 trees on his land and, with his exceptional care and the fence he has built for protection, all are doing very well.

We asked Mark if he has any message he would like to share.  He would like the world to know that "...Sadhana Forest is a world project; something that came from afar to enrich these interior counties, like Samburu.  I also advise the world just to come together, to co-operate together, and love each other.  Like now, for example; stop fights; make more trainings about life, simple life without fights.  Yes, I would like the world to stop fighting..."  Mark added his thanks to those in the world who are trying to conserve the environment, to educate people (especially his tribe Samburu) to know more about soil and water conservation "...because protecting life of trees is also part of our life."

Since our last update, we have planted 156 trees in the local community.  We have also done trainings and plantings at four different primary schools; training about 250 children total.  We held two trainings on our land and three remote trainings; training over 100 people.  It's been a busy few months!  We accomplish all this because of our volunteers and the support from the Global Giving community. If you are interested in providing us further feedback concerning our project, finding out more about our activities or area of operation, or would like to volunteer with us, please contact us here or email us directly at Kenya@sadhanaforest.org.  We also strongly encourage you to provide feedback at the end of this report.

Ashe Oleng! (Thank you very much in Kisamburu)

Mark
Mark
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Smiles
Smiles

A few months can go by in what seems to be ‘a blink of an eye’, but when the time comes to reflect and report on what has happened, we realize just how much has been accomplished.

Recently, we have replaced the leaky roof of our toolshed/office with a strong, 30-plus year roof.  We have also been working hard to repair, build (and rebuild!) protective fences for our tree seedling nurseries, construct additional water catchment in the form of swales and ponds, and, of course, continue to plant trees, bringing us up to over 200 on our land, in addition to ongoing monitoring of all trees planted by SFK in the local community.  We also managed a training and planting day near Oldenyiro, a village 50km from SFK land; this trip meant we were also able to transport a sick tortoise to the Kenyan Wildlife Services’ veterinarian.

Amongst the events of trees and infrastructure, we have also had the privilege of spending our time with our friends.  Not only have we recently hosted a visit from our Board of Directors, but we were invited to contribute to planning Samburu County's events for World Environment Day 2016.  There we met and worked with officials from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS),  Samburu County Department for the Environment and Natural Resources, World Vision, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-Kenya), and Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP).  Events for the day were hosted at Lkirimon Secondary School and over 100 trees were planted.  As part of the proceedings, three representatives from Sadhana Forest Kenya conducted a training session for around 500 people.

Even with only a few volunteers, we accomplish a lot at Sadhana Forest Kenya and truly appreciate the support from the GlobalGiving community. If you are interested in providing us further feedback concerning our project, finding out more about our activities or area of operation, or would like to volunteer with us, please contact us here or email us directly at Kenya@sadhanaforest.org.  We also strongly encourage you to provide feedback at the end of this report.

Ashe Oleng! (Thank you very much in Kisamburu)

Family Planting
Family Planting
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Sadhana Forest Kenya

Location: Kisima - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Aviram Rozin
Kisima, Kenya
$206,675 raised of $294,338 goal
 
2,304 donations
$87,663 to go
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