NGARENDARE FOREST TRUST
2013 ANNUAL REPORT
Compiled BY: DOMINIC MARINGA
Summary: The year 2013 was exciting for the Ngarendare forest Trust. The rains were good and the foods harvest and grass and vegetation was lush. In the year we initiated the biogas project and since July was are able to install27 units up to date. The demand for the biogas units was high until the payback period commenced in September. We received the highest number of visitors to the ecotourism sites and guides and scouts did excellent to market and protect the Ngarendare forest sites The number of staff has also increased to 21 with employment of three more scouts at Ngarendare, Mbuju and Manyagalo. The Ngarendare forest received recognition by UNESCO-WHS as an extension of Mt. Kenya World Heritage Site with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. We have done well with our stakeholders, donors and supporters some of whom have visited NNFT. The Africa Digna foundation visited in July 2013 to review the progress of their funded projects and were happy with the progress and expressed interest to do further funding of water projects. Timaflor and Oldonyo farms continued their ecosystem payments per month and have promised to continue funding NNFT into 2014.
PROJECT ACTIVITY COMPONENTS Revenues & Funding: NNFT continued to receive payment for ecosystem services from Timaflor which has so far donated Ksh6m. We also continued to receive ecosystem payments for Oldonyo farm (so far Ksh 60,000). Ecotourism generated Ksh3.2m and Friends of Ngarendare Forest also continued their support and we were able to generate Ksh 280,000. We have written several proposals to raise funds for biogas support, installing the short fence and for the support of water projects in the forest. Some proposals have been sent to GEF, NRT, and individual supporters. Borana has forwarded our proposal to Michael Spencer and is willing to support the short fence installation for 6km. We are still looking for support for completing the remaining 7.7 Km to completely eradicate elephants conflict with farmers. Visitors continued to visit our ecotourism sites as shown below: VISITORS Residents Non residents RVA FON TOTAL
Jan 20 112 23 35 190
Feb Mar Apr May Jun 16 16 22 13 14 92 107 2 61 57 329 281 112 69 473 3 0 0 8 16 440 404 136 151 560
July Aug Sep Oct Nov TOTAL 44 27 2 6 2 182 172 150 60 88 0 901 152 60 53 390 132 2074 21 3 6 20 0 112 389 240 121 504 134 3269
Forest Illegal activities and Security: The security has generally been good There were reported cases of stock theft at Ethi, Ngarendare and Kisima. Some of the stock was recovered with efforts from Lewa and Borana security teams. There were also posts cutting at Subuiga and Ethi, which were recovered but no culprit was arrested. Scouts have been doing joint patrols and it has yielded a lot of good results. Through joint patrols charcoal was recovered at Ethi CBO and Karimba area. There is still need for scoutsâ€™ joint patrols in all beats to completely end the problem of charcoal burning especially at Karimba and Ethi communities.
NNFT scouts destroy charcoal kilns at Karimba villages We have held two security meetings at Ethi CBO where the area Assistant Chief, the Ethi Police and the leaders were involved and security, stock theft, charcoal burning and posts cutting were addressed. The outcome of these meetings was the destruction of four charcoal Kilns and stern warnings of the culprits involved, the recovery of stolen stock in the forest and? Fence and Wildlife Monitoring There was high population of elephants in the forest especially from June to November. Other wild animals like buffaloes and lions were frequently seen in the forest. Cases of leopard invasion to households were reported at Ngarendare, Kisima and Mbuju. There were several fence breakages by the elephants at Ethi CBO and Mbuju
Wild dogs were sighted at some areas of the forest
Elephants and fence damages at Ethi village
Forest Grazing Management Grazing committees have been active throughout the year. We have held grazing committee meeting every month whose outcome has been continued grazing in the forest without much movement of the livestock to look for grass elsewhere. Another outcome of these meetings was very few stock theft and joint stock theft monitoring in partnership with community and administrative leaders. The grazers committee went out to a learning trip to visit other areas practicing best grazing plans and holistic managements. They visited the grazing committees of Leparua Conservancy where the groups learnt holistic Management and Ilngwesi conservancy where they learnt grazing plans management, grazing by laws and implementations. The trips were sponsored by Laikipia Wildlife Forum. 3
The intended outcomes from this trip was well implemented grazing plans, enforced by-laws, grazing blocks and boundaries identified and stable grass land in the forest Currently the grazing committees are still weak and need more exposures and support. The by-laws are not yet well implemented and some blocks are frequently disobeying grazing boundaries. We intend to institute strict guidelines for grazing in order to ensure stable and well followed grazing plans. We appeal to all grazing committees in all the CBOs to implement by-laws and punish those are flouting them Fuel wood management and alternative livelihood Firewood collection in the forest increased to un sustainable levels in 2013. Our investigations revealed that some women were collecting firewood and diverting it for sale to nearby markets. This activity prompted immediate action to be taken and various meeting were held with help from women representatives. All beats agreed to help in monitoring the receipts and scouts were asked to check on those entering the forest without KFS firewood receipts. It was agreed that we go back to the old practice of 3 firewood collection days per week which will be monitored at the gates by the scouts. Women were encouraged to enroll for the biogas project which was intended to save them time, energy and provide them with clean alternative to firewood. The biogas project being implemented in Ngarendare is providing a very good example of alternative to firewood fuel. Those already have them are witnessing that they are spending less time on cooking, are getting more time for other activities and do not depend on the forest for firewood any more.
Bio-digester bags full of biogas a farmer next to her bag showing sludge inlet and a family cooking at Manyagalo CBO The technology has impacted positively to both forest and households as those who have do not have to cut firewood inside forest and spend more time on useful family chores and get fertilizer for their small-scale farms.
Governance and conflict resolution
In 2013 various meetings were held. There were three board meetings and three management meetings. Various policies and resolutions were passed and programmes selected for implementation. The meetings passed CBO development proposals, resolved teething problems in CBO, staff, operations and employment of new staff. The Trust also held various CBO meetings where CBO development cheques were presented, viewed development projects and conflicts resolved. The Trust usually holds three BOT meetings per year where board issues, new proposals and policy are discussed and seven management meetings per year where daily operations and management are discussed and reports Capacity Building and CBO Development
Through the CBO development fund the Trust has implemented various projects in the six CBOs. At Mbuju CBO two toilets have been constructed at Durumuru primary school and Karimba borehole received 80,000sh for their pipeline. It also bought honey harvesting gear for their honey user group, and gave two school bursaries. Kisima CBO established two tree nurseries fully operational, gave two school bursaries to two needy students, and repaired a previously impassable section of village road. Ngarendare CBO bought iron sheets to Kianda nursery school and held a two day farmersâ€™ extensional training at the They also donated books to Kianda primary school, gave a bursary to a needy student and are repairing a section of village road. Manyagalo CBO has bought water pipes for Manyagalo water project and held agriculture and sanitation training. Ethi CBO is holding their cheque for 250sh for the completion of ETHI Borehole water project Subuiga CBO has supported tree nurseries in the village, youth group, and have bought construction materials for Subuiga dispensary Alternative livelihoods, Infrastructure & Equipment Procurement
The Trust has implemented the Biogas project to households surrounding the forest has alternative to firewood collection. So far 27 units of bio-bag digesters have been installed and the project is on going. Roads net works have been repaired with grading of the main Ngarendare-Mbuju roads passable and the grading of the platform to Mbuju roads also done in September. The Trust bought and installed a new inverter for the solar power system at the main office. NRT donated a laptop computer and two GPS machines to NNFT security team. NNFT has continued to support Ngarendare WRUA by paying their managers salary, technical advice and attending their meetings. Scouts were issued with new uniforms and the batteries were repaired. NNFT has applied for the recognition of the NNFT rangers as KPR and be issued with arms and the process is on-going with the Kenya Police Service.
Issues , Constraints and recommendations Our biggest issue at hand now is the completion of the installation of the 13.7 km short fence from Mbuju to Borana. This is the only way to mitigate the human –wildlife conflict at the southern boundary of the forest We need to urgently engage three new scouts to guard the Ethi, Mbuju and Ngarendare gates at nights to curb illegal activities in the forest as well as sneakers into the ecotourism sites Plans for the Next Remaining period and year 2014
Hold the final 2013 Management meeting to approve 2014 budget
Complete the installation of the 13.7kmfenceat the southern boundary. This will need fund raising and already a supporter has expressed interest to help install 6km of the fence
Continue with installation of the biogas project.
Fund raising for continued implementation of the CBO development fund
Marketing for the NNFT ecotourism sites
Map of NNFT showing the 6 villages, rivers and ecotourism sites