By sunset on Friday, all was ready for the much awaited Saturday’s Starehe Girls Charity walk. This however did little to guarantee the organizing teams, both from the Sanctuary and the Schools of sound and comfortable sleep as they had to be on the ground by 5.30am just to ensure all was still well as they embarked on the final touches.
Unlike most of the other events we’ve hosted that usually kick off at nine, this was a rather unusual one as most participants, who mostly comprised of school children had arrived well before seven, all beaming with energy and excitement.
Gathered at the venue
The Starehe Boys Band spiced up the event by joining their sisters in their well choreographed and harmonized melodies in support of the girls.
The Starehe boys’ band
At the end of the walk, many were amazed at just how the beautiful nature trails had made a 10km walk appear quite short. It was then time to appreciate the various categories of participants, with the most striking ones being the youngest and the oldest participants.
participants celebrate at the end of the walk
The oldest participant receives a certificate
The youngest girl participant receiving a certificate
The youngest boy participant receiving a certificate and a trophy
For those who would wish to hold an event in the sanctuary in future, please contact us on email@example.com for arrangements.
In some years past, and still happens in some areas, Charity Walks used to be held on city roads, in which case the roads or streets in question would have to be closed from vehicular traffic, safe for the few necessary like for Security and First Aid. In such a scenario, participants are usually exposed to the scotching sun for hours as they persevere the noise, air and other form of pollution from all around the route. The aforementioned closure of closure of some roads for the purpose of the event translates into massive traffic jams in the adjacent streets with the end result being an agonizing day for both the motorists and the walkers which may at times dim all the good intentions the walk was intended to achieve.
Many organizers of such events have come to realize this and are now turning to natural environments as they are more serene, lass polluted and in fact guarantees the participants a refreshing feeling at the end of the event.
Race Course Dam
The Riara Group of Schools will be holding a Charity Walk in aid of Starehe Girls Centre at the Sanctuary tomorrow. For the many participants that will turn up for the walk, it will be a great chance to interact with nature and they walk for a worthy course, talk of double benefits.
Participants at a past event
For those who would wish to hold an event in the sanctuary in future, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for arrangements.
The Sanctuary recognizes the importance of ensuring that projects are relevant to adjacent communities. It therefore has included the neighbours in all stages of decision making and day to day management. The Trust seeks to play a role in poverty alleviation by establishing projects that are beneficial to the communities, but at the same time environmental friendly. The Sanctuary is working closely with the people in awareness campaign to inculcate the culture of sustainable use of natural resources.
Currently a women group from Kibera Ngando and Mutoini slums has installed 200 hives in a bee keeping enterprise. Recently we hosted a group of people from Honey Care Africa they wanted to inspect the hives. After their arrival they were welcomed and given a brief background about the Sanctuary.
Mr Simon Ngong Forest’s Project coordinator briefing the guests
They were then led to the bee hives led by Ranger Steve Kamotho in the company of some of the community women. Once they got to the beehives the women went ahead to demonstrate how they carry out their inspections daily. Some of the visitors despite wearing bee suits were still afraid to get near the hives but after some encouragements they went near to get a clear view on how the inspection was carried out.
Fully dressed in bee inspection suits
Inspecting the hives
They were really impressed by the work the community women were doing and urged them to keep up the good work.
Trees are sanctuaries whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
Recently we received students from Nairobi University Environmental Club. Prior to their visit communication had been going on back and forth to help facilitate the activities that were to be held. We had to inquire how many seedlings they wanted to plant to help in preparations e.g. pitting and staking out.They arrived at around 3.00pm and were warmly welcomed by the project coordinator Mr. Simon Ng’ang’a. They assembled at the tree nursery areawhere they were briefed.
briefing at the tree nursery area
Since the number of students expected exceeded the number of students who had confirmed and each wanted to plant a tree it was agreed that it would be demonstrated to them how to pit and stake then plant the seedlings by themselves.
Once they got to the site the project coordinator demonstrated how to remove the seedling from the potting tube without destroying it so that it could reused. The activity didn’t take long once they were done they decided to walk through the nature trails as they exited they learnt about the different types of trees and luckily for them they had a chance to see the African Crown eagle feeding on a Skye monkey it had caught. They left promising to come soon for another visit.
Ranger Steve Kamotho demonstrating how to plant a seedling
Digging more holes
If you want to plant a tree kindly get in touch with us on
In the recent past we have witnessed an increase in cases of illegal dumping of waste along the Cemetery Road, the road leads to the Sanctuary’s main gate and also serves as the exit from the Jamuhuri show ground. For a long time now, heaps of garbage has been randomly dumped at night at various points in the forest sections along the stretch with the worst cases occurring near the Cemetery road/Ngong road junction.
Some of the dumped waste
The CFA( Community Forest Association) has written to NEMA( National Environment Management Authority) and the City Council in the past on this issue and no action has been taken so far.The situation is now getting serious as the area is gradually degenerating into a ‘regular’ dump site, hence the need for immediate, collective and firm action from all concerned parties.
Freshly dumped waste
As a first step, The Trust is organized a cleanup event and welcomed the participation of all stakeholders in the CFA to this exercise that was scheduled to start at 10:00am at the Cemetery road/Ngong road junction.The City Council’s environment department accepted to assist with the disposal of the collected garbage . A group of students from the University of Nairobi also volunteered to join in the exercise on their way to a tree planting event at the Sanctuary later in the day.
local community, the city council staff members and volunteers during the clean up
After the clean up
Ngong Road forest Sanctuary’s project coordinator with some of the staff members from the city council
We also requested the City Council to install “No Dumping’ signage along the road to deter further dumping. We are encouraging all residents and neighbours of the forest to take individual responsibility to stop and/or report any cases of dumping in their neighbourhoods. Let us all and individually choose to make a difference in our own little ways.
On the 21st and 22nd of March, we had a visit from some children, we hosted them at the Imre Loefler Education centre where they were briefed by the Education Officer. Since some of the children did not speak English, they had a teacher who was able to translate to them in order to understand.
briefing at the education centre
They learnt basic things on insects and bee keeping. On insects the pupils were shown various types of butterflies and beetles that are mounted in The Education Centre.
catching and observing insects
rangers educating children on butterflies
The pupils got to meet Durney Mitchell who taught them how the butterflies and beetles are caught and preserved for future references. The pupils were also taken to the Apiary for some bee keeping knowledge and round the nature trails where they saw monkeys, red duikers, aardvark hole and porcupine quills.
Mitchel and the kids
That being the end of their visit we appreciate and invite every other person for some outdoor learning.
Quiet roads and gentle hills makes ideal rides for families. On Sunday 24th March, 2013 we will be hosting a cycling/run family fun day. The event which is scheduled to start at 8.00 and end at around 12:30 pm is organized by H&A Sports in collaboration with Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary.
Lately we have been busy with the preparations for the event. Clearing the paths and marking the trails has been some of the things we have been working on. The adults will be covering 10km while the Kids will be covering 5km.
photos of clearing and marking boundaries for guidance and safety of the cyclist
We hope to see you all here.
For more information and clarifications kindly get in touch with us on:
Prior to the rains we are experiencing lately there was a very dry spell. On one of our daily patrols I couldn’t help but wonder how the animals and the trees were surviving i.e. the monkeys, the baboons, the bush backs ,the duikers and the sunis just to name a few. If this season continues, the grass will dry up, the trees will wither and safari ants will start their trips from one point to another.
safari ants making way to the ground
Baboons trying to survive
My mission hence changed apart from the normal patrolling I would try and observe how the animals and the trees were coping with the dry spell. Before long I bumped into a large herd of cows grazing in the forest and on further inquiry I discovered some Maasai herdsmen had sneaked them into the forest to graze lest they die of hunger.
cows grazing in the forest
Luckily I found out that there was enough for the animals to eat as the trees were filled with fruits which I knew that the monkeys, baboons and the birds would enjoy. For the bush backs and the sunis there was enough grass to feed on but I also learnt that they can supplement their diet for any other plants they can reach. My concern then became if they would have sufficient water as the river and the streams were drying up pretty fast.
rivers drying up
We thank The Almighty the rains are finally here..
The Sanctuary has been working closely with the adjacent communities more so in poverty alleviation by establishing projects that are beneficial to the communities but at the same time environmentally friendly. Currently a women group from Kibera, Ngando and Mutoini Slums has installed 200 hives in beekeeping enterprise.
On Sunday we hosted guests from honey care Africa, the aim of their visit was to see the whole process of modern beehive inspection and honey harvesting. They arrived at 10:00 am and found the rangers waiting for them with two of the community women who are involved in the bee keeping enterprise.
on the way to the apiaries
After a brief welcome and introductions they put on protective clothing and we headed to the apiaries. We learnt that the beehives are hanged on trees in order to trap bees easily and when constructing a beehive, a foundation layer of wax is put on the frames to attract bees and at the same time give them a foundation on which to build their honey combs. We examined each hive thoroughly noting down the progress of each.
putting on protective clothes
We noted that one of the hives was occupied scout bees. The scout bees’ work is to asses the suitability of the habitat before the whole colony can move in. To most people the scout bee looks like other active bees but once you get a closer look, you are able to notice small differences in their behavior. Scout bees are not as aggressive as other active bees since their work is not to protect the hive. We also learnt from Mr. Jeff a hive specialist that the scout bee assesses an area for three days before deciding to move in or move on.
examining the hives
using bee smokers
a hive with scout bees
The guests were very impressed with the progress of the bee keeping project and encouraged the women to keep up with the good work they were doing.
On Saturday we hosted the Chase Bank staff and their families for a family fun day charity walk through their Chase Group Foundation. The walk was themed as `Stand up for African mothers’ whose aim was to raise funds for reducing maternal deaths in rural areas through the training of midwives. The guests arrived early, excited and ready to support African mothers; they were welcomed in open arms. To begin the day, they were led through a warm up session to prepare them for the walk.
preparing for the walk
Security was tight and this was with the help of the KFS rangers, G4S, the Kenya police and the traffic police and not forgetting a couple of ambulances for health safety and first aid. Just to sum up, safety at the event was 100% guaranteed.
Kenya red cross for first aid
The walk started at around 9:30 with the adults covering 10km and the children 5 km, there were some designated stop over points where they got refreshments (water) to re-energize them to complete the walk. The finish line for both the adults and the children led to the picnic site where they were welcomed to music from a DJ, team building games and of course some comedy laughter from our very own Churchill Ndambuki , a.k.a Mwalimu King’ang’i who was also the MC of the event. Corporates and individuals then came forth and donated money to the foundation to stand up for The African mother.
bouncing castle for the kids
Churchill the MC
DJ Andre on the decks
The turn up was so successful with over 1000 participants and the number of companies associated with the event was ecstatic. The participants enjoyed every bit of it.
We welcome more and more Corporates to hold events at the Sanctuary.