Improved Beekeeping and Honey Production systems in Lake Bogoria Landscape for increased production, Environmental Conservation and social well-being.
Improved Beekeeping and Honey Production systems in Lake Bogoria Landscape for increased production, Environmental Conservation and social well-being.
ASALs cover about 70% of the greater Horn of Africa and about 90% in Kenya (ASARECA,
2011). In Kenya, these lands are inhabited by about 70% of the national livestock herd and about
fourteen million of the human population. Nearly 80% of the honey in Kenya is produced within
the ASALs, making them very important but vulnerable ecosystem that needs to be conserved for
the present and future generations. Water scarcity is a challenge due to the erratic rainfall
experienced in these lands (GOK, 2004; GOK, 2012). Besides water scarcity, arid and semi-arid
lands (ASALs) are faced with a number of environmental and anthropogenic issues that impact
negatively on their production potential. Unsustainable wood extraction, charcoal production, and
invasive plant species are such notable threats to biodiversity conservation including bees within
the ASALs. Some of these anthropogenic activities significantly altered plant species abundance,
composition and structure thereby negatively impacting on bee forage availability and other
ecosystem services such as pollination. Further, these anthropogenic activities have direct effects
that may include a reduction in the abundance of palatable plant species that constitute
important forage for livestock, and medicines for the local communities.
Lake Bogoria Landscape (LBL) is known locally, nationally and regionally for important
wildlife species, including the flamingo and the greater kudu. The combination of landforms,
biodiversity content, availability of water and forage makes this site important at community,
national and global levels. The LBL being the surrounding of the National Reserve of international
significance is at risk from degradation arising from unsustainable exploitation and management
of resources due to poverty, poor land use, and poaching, overstocking and unsustainable farming
systems. It is against this background that the Twin Group Community Based Organization intends
to amplify beekeeping and improve honey production accompanied with environmental
conservation and enhancement of the social well-being.
The LBL and the Lake Bogoria National Reserve (LBNR) has been designated as an important
bird area (by Birdlife international) with over 373 species of birds. Globally threatened bird species
found at the lake and its terrestrial landscape includes; the grey-crowned crane, the lesser flamingo,
Martial Eagle and the Egyptian vulture. The terrestrial zone of the reserve supports a number of
mammals including Leopard, Cheetah, Impala, Dikdik, Olive Baboon, Grant’s gazelle, Bat-eared
fox, Blue Duiker and Aadvark. All this depend on the LBL ecosystem for their existence.
Despite LBNR being a wetland of international importance is currently at risk from environmental
degradation arising from unsustainable resource exploitation and ecologically negative catchmentwide
processes such as unsustainable farming practices. The natural vegetation within the
landscape serves provisioning, regulatory and environmental services. The vegetation in the
catchment also serves as the sources of the fresh water for the rivers emptying to Lake Bogoria
that assists in the survival of the lesser flamingos which forms the main attraction feature
of the reserve. The rivers additionally serve as a source of water for domestic activities within the
LBL. The freshwater as well serves as the drinking water for the wild animals within the landscape.
What is not understood to many is that the vegetation and the water also serves as an ecosystem
for the survival and production by the bees.
The interrelationship between bees and the other components of the LBL ecosystem is complex.
The bees facilitate the pollination process apart from honey production. Therefore, enough effort
and resources should be directed towards beekeeping and improvement of the production
systems for improved sales, and other human wellbeing targets including improved household
income and employment opportunities. The proposed project will also lead to improved hygiene
and quality honey and beekeeping products such as wax and propolis. Involvement of
communities in beekeeping will lead to reduced pressure on the existing natural resource base and
thus aid in the conservation of the lake and the LBL in general. Such targeted efforts will increase
the honey quality and quantity for the local communities, and enhance socio-economic
development of the area.
The improved honey production systems within the LBL will not only lead to increased forest
canopy for nectar production, but also improved water levels in the rivers for both domestic and
wildlife activities, conserve other wild species of flora and fauna and address the issues of food
security, nutrition and improved household livelihood. The residents will draw benefits from the
bees and conserve forests for the anchorage of the hives thus reducing the over-reliance on the
benefits accrued from the reserve. The efforts will address the dependence syndrome and counter
the perceived lack of benefits by people living adjacent to the National Reserve which in most
cases is the basis of conflicts between the management of LBNR and the adjacent communities
who feel alienated in terms of sharing of revenues that accrue from both consumptive and nonconsumptive
utilization of the LBNR resources.
The development of a strategic intervention aimed at improving honey production within the
landscape in order to mitigate the LBL wide environmental problems and also resolve emerging
resource use conflicts amongst stakeholders will be paramount. The improved honey production
system will promote sustainable livelihoods through the conservation of the vegetation and
limited maintenance requirements. The system will also create new socio-economic opportunities
while harnessing existing ones, and safeguard the conservation of the LBL.
Twin Group is proposing to implement the improved honey production within the Lake Bogoria
Landscape at Yatoi. The immediate environs of this reserve is occupied by Endorois, Tugen and
the Illchamus communities which are an indigenous agro-pastoralist communities with population
of 10,816 people (GoK, 2009). The community within which the proposed project will be
implemented relies on small scale crop farming, unimproved livestock production and sparse and
uncoordinated beekeeping and honey production. There are numerous challenges facing this
community including high level of adult illiteracy, socioeconomic and political marginalization,
inadequate land tenure policies, vulnerability to climatic variations and competition with wildlife
for natural resources. This has led to frequent and persistent famine and reduced economic
opportunities. Beekeeping and honey production is dispersed at individual farms and the
production is based on individual efforts. There is limited coordination in beekeeping and honey
The returns from this business are poor and hardly support households in meeting their basic needs.
The proposed project will designate an area of about 10 acres within the community land and
establish beehives for commercial beekeeping and honey production. There will also be a
compartment for the storage of the harvested honey. The honey will be availed for other
organizations with the capacity to process and market. This will assist in distribution and marketing
of the honey to other areas where there is a ready market in the adjacent nearby counties such as
Nakuru. This will amplify the demand hence lead to higher production, more returns and thus
improving the living standards of the residents of the LBL. The villages where the project will be
implemented includes Rabai, Maoi, Eldume, and Lororo among others within Yatoi Sub-location.
1.2 Organizational
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Project Snapshot

Twin Self Help Group Community Based Organization
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 29,293.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 30,585.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 1,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator


P.O BOX 68
Marigat ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Nancy Chege
(254-20) 7624473
(254-20) 621076
Ms. Salome Nyakundi


UNDP, P.O. Box 30218
Nairobi, 00100