Transforming traditional medicinal practice for biodiversity conservation, knowledge transfer and livelihood improvement.
Transforming traditional medicinal practice for biodiversity conservation, knowledge transfer and livelihood improvement.
Traditional medicine is a vital yet often neglected part of health care system in Kenya. Studies have indicated that more than two-thirds of Kenyans depend on traditional medicine for their primary health care needs. In rural areas, about 80% of people depend on it for their primary health care. However misconceptions about traditional medical practice, loss of biodiversity, over-exploitation and unscientific use of medicinal plants, industrialization, biopiracy, coupled with lack of regulation and infrastructure are major impediments to the growth of herbal medicine. More recently, urbanization has changed the face of traditional medicine with proliferation of many herbalists posing a threat to quality control. Moreover, the growing population coupled with increased demand for land for settlement and agricultural production have reduced the indigenous forest cover to less than 2 per cent of the land in the country resulting to significant loss of indigenous medicinal plants. Ufanisi conservation group faces similar challenges although initial initiatives by Kenya Forestry Research Institute to support the group has somewhat enabled them to navigate some of these challenges al be it on a small scale. This project will address these challenges by promoting sustainable herbal medicinal practices, value addition of herbal products branded as health and nutritional supplements and promoting product linkages to markets. The project will establish a model demonstration centre using Ufanisi Conservation group as a case study and replicate best practices and lessons learned to communities living adjacent to Mijikenda kaya forests where majority of the herbal plants are found. The project will also conduct training on propagation and domestication of wild medicinal plants to reduce pressure from the kaya forest thus contributing to their conservation. Establishment of herbal gardens on farmers’ fields will reduce the pressure of over-exploitation of herbal plants from kaya fungo where majority of the herbal plants used by Ufanisi group as raw materials are sourced.
The Mijikenda communities attach holistic values to traditional plant cures, thus traditional medicine remains firmly entrenched as an important component of the health care system. An estimated 80 percent of the rural population in the Coast region of Kenya rely on the presence and services of traditional medical practitioners, due to limited access to modern health care facilities and exorbitant cost of modern pharmaceuticals. Misconceptions about traditional medical practice and over-exploitation and unscientific use of medicinal plants poses key challenges to the development of sustainable herbal medicinal practise. Ufanisi conservation group has been providing traditional medicinal services to members of the local community for the last 15 years. However despite providing pimary healthcare services to majority of the members of the community, knowledge on traditional medicinal practice is increasingly being lost among members of the community. Moreover, the enterprise has not developed into a full fledge enterprise that can support the livelihoods of group members. This has been largely attributed to inadequate value addition and lack of certification of their products leading to uncompetitive pricing, inadequate marketing skills and inadequate equipment for processing and value addition of their products. Moreover, over-exploitation of herbal plants within Arabuko Sokoke forest and kaya Fungo where the group obtain their raw materials is posing serious threats to the sustainablity of their venture. This project will address these challenges by promoting sustainable herbal medicinal practices, value addition of herbal products and promoting linkages to markets with a view of increasing revenue generation and contributing to improved livelihoods. The project will also establish a model herbal medicinal processing centre for dissemination of best practices in herbal medicinal practise.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Ufanisi Conservation group
Country:
Kenya
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Operational Phase:
Phase 6
Grant Amount:
US$ 25,750.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 9,606.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 16,143.00
Project Number:
KEN/SGP/OP6/Y2/STAR/LD/2019/45
Start Date:
7/2019
End Date:
8/2020
Status:
Currently under execution

Grantee Contact

Mrs. Salome Nasoro Jumwa
 

Address

P.O Box 1078-80200 Malindi Mijomboni Shopping Centre near Gede town
Malindi ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Nancy Chege
Phone:
(254-20) 7624473
Fax:
(254-20) 621076
Email:
Ms. Salome Nyakundi
Email:

Address

UNDP, P.O. Box 30218
Nairobi, 00100