This Saturday sanctuary will host Nairobi hospice for their annual charity walk with the funds helping patients with life limiting illnesses such as cancer, HIV and AIDS.
Preparations are underway to make the event a success.
Clearing one of the trails that will be used
Marking the trails
As a way of enhancing conservation of the forests, communities around the forests were required to form Community based organizations that helped in poverty alleviation but at the same time were environmentally friendly. The Sanctuary recognized the need of ensuring that projects were relevant to the adjacent communities and together they formed Ngong Road Forest Community. The Sanctuary has helped them in establishing projects such as beekeeping where a women group from Kibera, Ngando and Mutuini slums has installed 200 hives.
Mr Simon the Sanctuary’s project coordinator welcomes the community members
The Trust has also provided opportunities for them to learn more income generating activities such as making of the liquid soap, bleaching detergents, antiseptic among others. Last Wednesday they hosted Ololua Community Forest Association on an exchange program they exchanged ideas on what each association was doing and even demonstrated some of the income generating activities. After they were done there was entertainment and a cup of tea. They each left with new ideas on what areas of their association they would improve and implement on.
Members of the Ololua Community forest Association
The Chairman from Ololua Sharing some of the ideas on what they do
Ngong road forest community chairman receives a certificate from a Hand in Hand trainer following the various economic empowerment trainings they have undergone
Some of the Ngong Forest Community members
members of both the associations pose for a picture
They then shared a cup of tea
Ngong Forest Sanctuary has an ongoing Environmental Education Program for Schools and colleges visiting the Sanctuary. The program is run at the Sanctuary’s Education Centre Facility that comprises of Lecture Theater, a PA system, an Overhead Projector and an ample and secure Car Park Facility. These, together with the Orientation Banda and numerous nature trails have seen the Sanctuary become a very important and resourceful outdoor learning venue for students at all levels of education.
The Centre also has wide variety of nature based videos and mounted insect specimens for Educational purposes.
Last Saturday, we hosted students from the Kenya Wildlife Training Institute who were on a field assignment to identify the various attractions that forests offer.
Students getting a briefing from their lecturers
The project Coordinator gave a brief talk on the potential of forests in Kenya’s Tourism Industry, with special reference to Ngong Forest Sanctuary.
Projects Coordinator gives a talk
The students then had a forest walk and were happy for the opportunity to test their animal and plant identification skills, with the Coordinator and the Rangers on hand to help.
Students identifying plants
The climax of the visit was the sighting of a pair of the Crowed Eagle on their nest, which they have rebuilt over and over on the same spot for over ten years.
Students watching the crowned Eagle
If you would like to bring a group on an educational tour, bird watching or just a forest walk, please contact us on email@example.com for arrangements.
The Sanctuary recognizes the importance of ensuring projects are relevant to adjacent to 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. In the recent past the Trust has been working closely with a non- governmental organizations teaching the community on the benefits of saving, making detergents, embroidery among other economic empowerment businesses.
Mr Simba the community chairman welcomes the community members
Currently they are learning the benefits of saving taught by the staff of an NGO by the name of Hand in Hand in order to start various income generating activities. They were each given a home bank box for a period of one month and whoever had saved the most would be awarded. Last Wednesday they brought the home bank boxes for which their teacher opened, counted and recorded how much each community member had saved.
one of their trainers also gives a speech
community members showing off their home bank boxes
the Community Secretary taking some of the members home bank boxes to be counted
After each members money had been counted and recorded they were encouraged to start a business with the money they had saved. They went home a happy lot as they were amazed at how much they had saved.
Crowned Eagles have one of the most prolonged breeding cycles of any bird. Crowned Eagle pairs breed once every two years; a single breeding cycle lasts for approximately 500 days in Breeding can occur almost year-around throughout the range, though egg laying seems to peak roughly around the end of the wet season or the early in the dry season Territories or home ranges are maintained vigorously.
the nest that is being repaired
After engaging in the breeding, the pair collaborates in building a massive nest in a fork of a large forest tree. While the female fetches more nesting material, the male tends to be more active in nest construction. Crowned Eagles seem to be attracted to the taller trees in the forest, the favorite nesting trees are the large emergent Exceptional Crowned Eagle nests have been observed on sheer cliff faces. These are jungles of boulders covered with low growth interspersed (in the past) with high trees. A nest built from scratch may take up to 5 months to construct, however existing nests are often repaired and re-used during successive breeding seasons, a process that can take as much as 3 months. It is typical for an eagle pair to use a nest for more than five years and, unlike several other eagles, Crowned Eagle pairs rarely build more than one nest for alternate use. Most large eagles build a very large nest and the Crowned Eagle is no exception, as it builds one of the largest nests of any eagle. The nest may consists of both dead and greener branches and have a light coverage of leaves and animal matter.
The crowned eagle perched in one of the trees
a Sykes monkey that had been killed by a crowned eagle
The clutch of the Crowned Eagle either contains 1 or 2 eggs. Eggs are usually just white, though may sometimes be overlaid with sparse red-brown markings. The eggs are moderate in size, when a natural disaster befalls a nest, a replacement may be made in 2 months time Incubation lasts for approximately 49 days. 80-90% of egg incubation is done by the female during the day.Food is mainly brought to the nest by the male in the early stages of breeding, though sometimes both sexes may deliver food. Male brings food to the incubating female every 3 to 5 days. When they initially hatch, the young tend to be quite quiet. If two eggs are laid, the younger one dies by starvation after being out competed for food by the older one or even directly killed by its older sibling.
The crowned eagle with the young one
Recently I went to check on the nest that had been not used for long and to my surprise the pair was busy repairing the nest breeding might be happening soon!!!!
Over the years, population increase in Nairobi has led to overcrowding in the few leisure spots available the sanctuary is therefore timely into offering yet another alternative. Due to its uniqueness of being an indigenous forest within a city, and given that its only 6 kilometers from the city center.Various organizations have found the Sanctuary as a perfect destination for their corporate day events due to the many attractive sites it offers.
Hence on Friday we hosted Waridi events company Limited staff members for a tree planting event which was a success. They arrived at around 11am and were welcomed by the project coordinator who gave them a brief history of Ngong Forest Sanctuary.
After the brief introductions they headed straight to the tree planting site where the project coordinator demonstrated to them on how to plant a seedling. They then got down to business and started planting the seedlings. After the planting session they then went for walk through the nature trails before heading to the picnic site for refreshments and games.
Mr. Simon the project coordinator demonstrates on how to plant the seedling
The tree planting starts
They decide to dig holes themselves
they pose for a picture after they are done with planting
taking a walk in one of the nature trails
at the picnic center for refreshments & games
If you would like to visit us kindly contact us through:
Tomorrow Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary will be hosting a tree planting event. Preparations are underway to make the event a success.
Pitting for seedlings
If you are interested in planting a tree/ trees kindly get in touch with us through:
The Sanctuary works close with communities that are adjacent to the sanctuary in awareness campaigns to inculcate the culture of sustainable use of natural resources, hence every Wednesday community women who have installed hives at the Sanctuary come for their normal inspection. This time they were accompanied by a few members of Honey care Africa. Once they had changed into the beehive suits they headed straight to the apiaries. The women complained there were “big butterflies” attacking the hives. Upon investigations they discovered that what was attacking the hives is known as the Wax Moth. One of the members from Honey care Africa educated the women on what the Wax Moth was the effects it caused on the hives and the preventive measures.
Changing into the bee hives suits
Community women preparing the smokers
They learnt that the Wax moth occur around the world wherever bees are kept. They learnt that the wax moth larvae are very destructive and can quickly destroy stored beeswax combs. They are attracted to the hives by the smell of wax .They tunnel and chew through combs, particularly combs that contain brood and pollen. Wax moths can destroy colonies but typically only colonies that have become weak due to other issues. A strong colony does well to kill the adult wax moth if she enters the hive.
Inspecting the hives
one of the hives infested by moths
This is not the case when a hive is weak or if a strong colony has too much unprotected comb. The adult wax moth only lives a few days and does not eat or drink. She flies into a beehive and slips past the guard bees and finds her way to a vacant corner inside the hive. There she begins to lay her eggs. She lays her eggs about 4-10 days which are around 300-600 eggs. Wax moth Larvae can crawl and enter surrounding hives as well. Once in the larva stage the wax moth tunnels its way through the comb eating honey, pollen and sometimes beeswax, preferring darker comb, and finally spins its cocoon about 19 days later. These cocoons then burrow into the wood as the population of wax moths grow, the remaining bees will finally flee.
Removing a larvae from one one of the hives
They learnt that the best control against wax moths is to have a strong colony they also learnt that too much empty space will give small hive beetles and wax moths room to spread and that weak colonies in large hives are very inviting to wax moths. They were told to keep their colonies tight and strong.
As the construction of the Southern Bypass progresses, more trees have had to be sacrificed.
Was it so difficult for the Kenya Forest Service to apply its authority in directing that the Road only goes through sections with least trees to avoid all this damage?
Poaching has significantly reduced the number of Sunnis and duikers in the sanctuary. On several occasions during the rangers normal patrols they have come across a group of boys accompanied by a pack of dogs armed with clubs and pangas and on several occasions they have been seen carrying dead duikers and Sunnis Hence the sanctuary saw that there was need to educate the schools adjacent to Ngong Forest on the importance of conservation and poaching. Invitation letters were sent out inviting the schools to learn more on conservation and poaching.
On Friday we hosted Ngong primary school one of the school we had invited, they arrived at 9:30 am and were welcomed and ushered to the Education center by the Project coordinator. They were shown the mounted species of butterflies and beetles of which all of them had been trapped at the sanctuary. The project Coordinator Mr. Simon Nganga gave them a brief history about the Sanctuary and later gave a brief talk on the effects of poaching and the importance of conservation.
Students assembled in the hall
Mr Simon- project coordinator giving a talk
Some of the effects he shared was that it affects every aspect of an ecosystem not only is it illegal but it affects animals in many ways. The biggest impact of poaching is that it decreases the animal’s population. After he was through with the talk he handled them to the rangers who took them for a walk through the nature trails educating them about conservation. They later watched a film on the effects of poaching and as they left they vowed never to poach any animal and also to educate their neighbours on the importance of conservation and the effects of poaching.
students in one of the nature trails
One of the rangers sharing on the importance of conservation
Watching a film on the effects of poaching