Regardless of geographical and cultural setting, Social status and social e-economic needs, we all have our very good reasons why we should be allowed access to public resources, and in this case, forests. While most people in the City would view Ngong Road Forest as a potential site for private development and self enrichment, Community members living adjacent to the forest have established lifelong relationships with the forest and would not allow anybody to touch or play with what they have come to value as their only source of livelihood.In liaison with and for the benefit of the community, the Trust has established projects that play a major role in poverty alleviation and are also environmental friendly.
ON GOING PROJECTS
a) Education Centre Facility.
The Trust has constructed an Education Centre Facility complete with a 100 seater Lecture Theatre, a PA system, an Overhead Projector and an ample and secure Car Park Facility. Community members enjoy free access to facility for their meetings, workshops and trainings
The Imre Loefler Education Centre
b) Bee keeping
A group of women from Kibera and Dagoretti slums were trained on the basics of apiary management, which included technical and management aspects of bee farming , colonies, biology of bees, assembly and siting of beehives, maintenance of bee equipment, use and inspection of catcher boxes, harvesting, record keeping and business management skills. They are able to make at least Ksh 1000 per hive form honey sales per season. This project was designed to meet the Trust’s goal of preserving the Sanctuary’s natural forest through self supporting multipurpose activities for the benefit of the local communities and other stakeholders
PROJECTS IN TRIAL STAGES
a) Capacity Building and Training
Once in a while, Community Members benefit from training on various life improvement skills at the Education Centre. Some of these include;
i) Alternative Energy
ii) Recycling plastics to make shopping baskets and door mats
iii) Making simple Soap and antiseptics for home use
v) Record keeping
vii) Health and nutrition
Learning entrepreneurship skills
b) Adult literacy
Members of the community who for reasons beyond their control were not able to get a chance to go school in their earlier years will benefit from free adult education classes at the Education Centre
The Trust is promoting the Sanctuary as a venue for outdoor recreational activities for all Nairobi residents, particularly the Local Communities and their children who due to economic hardships are not able to access such facilities elsewhere in the city.
OTHER PROPOSED PROJECTS
a) Butterfly farming
b) Silkmoth farming
c) Herbal medicine gardens
d) Mushroom farming
Through the Kenya Forest Service, registered community members are issued with permits to collect dry fallen wood from designated sections of the forest. While some members use the firewood for domestic cooking, most sell it for some income.
a) b) Religion
Some local community members use the forest for cultural and religious activities. Comon sites include Special locations in the forest, under giant fig trees, caves and river beds.
b) c ) Casual Employment
Whenever opportunities arise for casual tasks in any of the Trust’s projects, priority for employment is given to the local community.