Author Archives: ngongforest

The crowned eagle hatches

My colleague Steve and I were on our normal patrols we were headed towards Kibera when I got a call from Mike Davidson one of our trustees he informed me that he was headed to the sanctuary’s main gate for he wanted to visit the crowned eagle nest to check if it had hatched and also take a walk in the mini nature trail.

We hurriedly rushed back and we found that he had just arrived. We exchanged pleasantries   and immediately headed to the mini nature trail.  We were almost at the crowned eagle nest when we saw a red duiker feeding on the recently planted tree seedlings on seeing us it rushed into the nearby thicket.

When we arrived at the crowned eagle we found the mother feeding the juvenile. The crown eagle uses the same nest for many years until a new pair inherits it. The nest is mainly made of sticks and lined with fresh green branches. The eagle adds new material to the nest each year, and overtime, the nest can grow up to 8 feet. When the mother noticed us it flew away but not before raising alarm and the chick sunk deep into the nest. We had to wait patiently for it to resurface and it did and the mother returned to the nest but did not take her eyes off us.

at the nest

at the crowned eagle nest

crowned eagle pic

After taking a few pictures of the crowned eagle we headed back to the main gate.

If you would love to visit us kindly contact us through;

office@ngongforestsanctuary.com

www.ngongforest.org

SILVER OAK TREES RAPIDLY DISAPPEAR

Silver Oak also known as the silky oak is an evergreen tree, usually 18-15m with steeply ascending branch forming a narrow crown, foliage grey-green.it has a grey-brown bark peeling vertically termite resistant. It is a very valuable tree and much liked by wood carvers.

  For the entire period that I have been engaged in Ngong Forest Sanctuary as a ranger, I have witnessed the number  of the silver oak tree dwindling  year after year and in most of the forest section  what can be seen its stamp to signify its one day presence. The blame cannot be put on rangers as most of the poachers have always been arrested and the vehicles that they use to furry the logs to the market confiscated , which after sometime the culprits are out of jail and back to business again.

cut  felled trees

silver oak

Freshly cut trees

tree stump

silver oak freshly cut

With development  taking place such as the construction of the southern by pass, which has contributed   to great loss of the silver oak  as the road passes in between the forest. The construction of bypass intersection which was mainly inhabited by the silver oak made its numbers drop drastically only a  few were lucky ones  survived .The poachers and not willing to spare them as we have witnessed  freshly cuts trees on our forest patrols. The poachers work has been done easier by the by pass road as they can easily transport the logs.

Stiff measures need to be taken soon or within no time we won’t have any sliver oak trees

Story by Nicholas Akach

Senior Ranger

       office@ngongforestsanctuary.com

      www.ngongforest.org

Helping Communities realize benefits from Forest Conservation.

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 center

 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

inspection

bee keeping   inspection

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

iv)                 Entrepreneurship

v)                  Record keeping

vi)                 Saving

vii)               Health and nutrition

learning enterpenuer skills

Learning entrepreneurship skills

  shamopp making

Shampoo making

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

a)      Recreation

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.  

joggingg

OTHER PROPOSED PROJECTS

a)      Butterfly farming

b)      Silkmoth farming

c)       Herbal medicine gardens

d)      Mushroom farming

 OTHER BENEFITS

           Firewood collection.

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.

office@ngongroadforestsanctuary.com

www.ngongforest.org

 

 

   

VISIT TO THE WILDLIFE CLUBS OF KENYA

Ngong Road Forest has several institutions within it. One of them is the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, located in section 5 of the forest.

Last Friday,  Asha, Eliza, Esther and Carol, all of us students on attachment at the Sanctuary visited the Wildlife Club Of Kenya. At the wildlife club of Kenya we were able to visit the famous MOKOYET trail meaning hidden treasure in kalenjine, accompanied  by two student from the Wildlife Club of Kenya who had knowledge about the the Mokoyet trail and both trees and birds  . The wild life club of Kenya has developed trails which visitors  get to visit and get to learn about indigenous trees  and also get a chance to see a few animals within the trail..  

Some of the indigenous tree are Olea Capensis  africana (wild olive) and acokanthera oppostifolia(arrow poison). The trail olso has few animal like Sykes monkeys, warthog, snake, suni .we got to see birds like  woodpeckers, cinnamon chested bee eater ,African wagtail .We were able to watch some of the birds from  the bird watching tower.

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The arrow poison tree

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The wild olive tree

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At the watch tower

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the Sykes monkey

Story by Carol, Asha, Eliza, Esther

www.ngongforest.org

office@ngongforestsanctuary.com

LEARNING BEE-KEEPING TIPS FROM A NEIGHBOUR

The Sanctuary has introduced many projects as it seeks to play a role in poverty alleviation among the adjacent local communities. These projects are beneficial to the communities and at the same time environmental friendly. One successful project already in place is a ladies Honey Harvesting Enterprise.

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Recently we the interns Asha, Esther, Carol and Eliza together with the senior ranger Nicholas Akach visited the National Institute of Beekeeping, located at the edge of the forest, to learn more on bee farming so that we can in turn teach the community more on the same.

We learnt that there are various types of bee keeping, Traditional log hive, the modern ways of bee keeping which includes, Kenya top bar hive, langstroth hive, and sting less bee hives.

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The traditional log hive

 We learnt the behaviors and characteristics of bees and the management of the beehives. We visited the quality assurance lab where we learnt more on analyzing the quality of honey, pesticides and antibiotics. Some of the other departments we visited include technology development this includes protective clothing and how to inspect the hives, bee management we learnt more on pest control we also learnt on how to package the honey after it has been processed.

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Skin care products made from honey

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One of the candles made from the wax bees produce

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Packaged honey ready for sale

Story by Asha, Esther, Carol, Eliza- on internship

 

office@ngongforestsanctuary.com

www.ngongforest.org

THE COMMUNITY LEARNS AN ENERGY SAVING ALTERNATIVE

Mr Philip Gitahi , Treasurer of Ngong Road forest association  recently  visited the N gong forest community to showcase an energy  saving  alternative project .The project was to use the briquette machine to  help the community  make some briquettes  thus saving large amount of money and energy in purchasing and  collecting  firewood. The briquettes  are made out of paper, cow dug  and  sawdust .

mr phillip demonsrates

Mr Phillip demonstrates on how to make briquettes

The briquettes can  not only can be used as an energy alternative, but  also  creates employment  opportunities if sold .  It does not   produce smoke and ash.

The briquette  machine  components  are:  pestle,  mortar and divider.

the briquette machine

The briquette making machine

Procedure of making the sawdust briquettes

making sand briqqutes

Making soil briquettes

1.       Put the sawdust into a bucket and add one tin of red soil , the red soil is  used  as a binder.

2.       Mix the mixture and add water .Make sure the mixture is not very wet or very dry.

3.       Put the mixture into a measuring cup and put into the mortar and place the divider onto the mixture inside the mortar. Add another mixture into the mortar and place the divider. Do  this process   one more time.

4.       Take the pestle and press into the mortar. The idea is to press the mixture  to drain the water.

5.       Remove the pestle and take the mortar out in order  to remove the mixture which  has formed into briquettes. Remove the  mixture and dry it in the sun.

 end product of the paper briquettes

end product of a soil briquette

Procedure  in making paper briquettes

MIXTURE OF WATER AND PAPERS

preparing paper briquettes – pre- soaked paper

1.       Get  pieces of cur ton box  an soak them into bucket of  water for 48hrs.

2.       After the  48hrs take the papers out  and  put them in to a tin.

3.       Using  wood stick  beat  the mixture  till its  fine.

MIXING

4.       Using the measuring  cup add  the mixture  inside the cup then put it into the mortar and place the  divider into the paper mixture inside the mortar, add another paper mixture into the m0rtar and place the divider. Do this process one more time.

5.       Take the pestle  and into the mortar , the idea is to press  the mixture to drain water.

USING A MOTAR

6.       Remove the pestle  and take  the mortar  out in order to remove the mixture which has formed in to  briquettes. Then dry them in the sun  which  are later  used for cooking and can also be sold .

The chairman  Mr. Phillip  asked if  the community  was  involve in other projects ,the women said they were involved  in sack harvesting project where the women would  grow vegetables . Another  project they  are also  involved in is bee keeping  where they harvest  and sell the honey.

SOME OF THE BRIQUTTES

Drying the briquettes in the sun for later use

Mr.Philip  also encouraged to the community  to practice  butterfly  farming; putting nets where the butterfly   would  lay eggs an produce  cocoons which  are  used  as silk. He  came  with a few  books  that he sold 100ksh and another at 400ksh each.

office@ngongforestsanctuary.com

www.ngongforest.org

FOREST SURVEY

On 28th October Eliza ,Caro and Asha who are on internship   accompanied by the  Project coordinator  at  Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary and one of the rangers  had a enjoyable morning drive through the Ngong forest which is subdivided into five sections. The sections have been divided due to the construction of the southern bypass passing through the forest .

We visited the ‘Kibera’ whereby on our way we came across some Kibera residents carrying illegal firewood for sell .Our ranger had to run after them whereby they left their luggage and we carried it away in our forest patrol car .The part of forest neighbouring Kibera have been cleared leading to growth of lantana camara which chokes other trees growing near.

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Part of  Kibera

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one of the loggers carrying firewood

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We went to Miotoni where there is the lower and upper dams useful for domestic use, watering the tree nursery beds and construction of the southern bypass. Also there is plenty of fish and the dams are touristic attractions hence income to the neighbourhood.

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The upper dam

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The lower dam

Dumping has been a major problem in the forest due to the southern bypass project causing pollution to the ecosystem.

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Dumping

story by Eliza, Asha

www.ngongforest.org

 

 

EDUCATIONAL VISIT AT THE SANCTUARY

The sanctuary received 100 students from Braeburn International School I for two days where the students were divided into 4 groups each day.The students arrived at 8.30pm at the sanctuary then briefed about the sanctuary by Mr.  Simon who is the  project coordinator before they started  their activities . After the briefing the students were divided in to four groups. Each group had 1 guide with 1 student whom is on attachment.  They also had a guard in every group.

arrival at the sanctuary

Arrival at the Sanctuary

briefing

The Students are briefed by the project coordinator

The kids were to be involved in 4 different activities which were woodland habitat, grassland habit, aquatic habitat and nature walk in the forest.

GRASSLAND HABITAT STUDY

 The habitat  study  was  conducted  in 2  days  where  the  kids  were  asked  to describe the  grassland  habitat   then  fill them  on their booklet. They were  to find  out how many  organism were there  in a  particular   place by using  a mathematical  way  to estimate  the  number  of organism  which are the lippie  plant. They would need 10meters length rope, a quadrat, a notebook, and a pencil to record the no of lippie plant found in the measured area.

grasslands

grassland habitat

Another activity  that  was  conducted  in the grassland  habitat  was that the kids  were to use sweep net to catch invertebrate into the sweep net then record the no. and the type of invertebrate in there  booklet.

THE AQUATIC HABITAT STUDY

The kids visited the aquatic habitat and were introduced by Mr. Nicholas Akach who was their guide. During the 2 days visit one group were lucky to find a water scorpion which other groups did not find. Another group was also lucky  to find 26  Cray  fish  which was a surprise  to  everyone  including  as the tour guides .After catching  the organism using  their fish nets, the kids had to empty them on a plastic  water tank  and tally them and record  in there booklet.

aquatic

aquatic 1

aquatic habitat

THE WOODLAND HABITAT STUDY

The woodland habitat sampling the  kids  were expected  to  survey invertebrate in trees and bushes using a beating methods  which involved  the  shaking or beating of  branches to dislodge the insects,  which fell onto a white cloth that was placed at the base of tree and shrubs.

After that the kids were to fill their booklet with the name and the no. of invertebrate found and tally.

woodlands

woodland habitat

WALK IN THE FOREST

This was the last activity the kids were involved in the 2days after all their habitat  study. while in the forest the kids so the red duckier,Sunni antelope,crown eagle ,different species of trees e.g.the Cyprus,Sodom apple tree,acacia ,macadamia,mwarobaini e.t.c. they were so happy seen the different types of butterflies and even caught them They thanked us for the walk and the great experience they had in the Ngong forest sanctuary 

   If you would like to visit kindly reach us on:

 education@ngongforestsanctuary.com   office@ngongforestsanctuary.com

NATURE TRAILS AT THE SANCTUARY

Strolling along a peaceful nature trail is certainly a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Trails create a healthy recreation by providing people of all ages with attractive, safe, accessible low cost places to cycle, walk, hike, jog or skate.

At Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary Trust there are nature trails   that are well maintained mainly used for cycling, walking and educational tours and am certain you won’t miss a monkey or two!

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well labelled nature trails

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Entrance to one of the nature trails

cycling

cycling in one of the nature trails

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Sykes  monkeys at the sanctuary

jogging

jogging in one of the nature trails

If you would like to visit kindly drop us an email on

office@ngongforestsanctuary.com / education@ngongforestsanctuary.com  

www.ngongforest.org

THE DUSTY CEMETERY ROAD – NAIROBI TRADE FAIR AFTERMATH

For the benefit of those that may not be familiar with its location, Ngong Forest Sanctuary’s main gate is located along Cemetery Road, off Ngong Road. This is the Road that normally serves as the exit from Jamuhuri ASK Show grounds during the 6 days of the trade fair.

In normal days, the road is not very busy as most motorists avoid it owing to its location in the forest that may be perceived as a potential security risk. The road also has numerous pot holes that are only filed up with soil a few days to the show.

Normally calm and deserted Cemetery Road

The normally calm and deserted cemetery road

It was all sunny during this year’s trade fair and the freshly soil covered potholes enabled the motorists to drive fast past our gate leaving the rangers security camp all covered in dust from morning to evening.

dusty road

The now dusty  cemetery road

Even now with the show long over, the dusty condition has continued to affect us especially now that there is less traffic and speeding through the bush seems to thrill some motorists at the expense of the nearby and adjacent families’ health, especially our young children.

dusty

 

office@ngongforestsanctuary.com

www.ngongforest.org