World Heritage in Young School Children’s Hands
The sacred Kaya forests are hotspots of biodiversity and culture within Coastal Kenya. They are islands of forests in the midst of densely populated rural poor communities with a high dependency on them for their livelihoods. Despite their protection as National monuments, forest reserves and world heritage sites, they face a number of challenges emanating from poor connection with children, youth and women. The kaya elders’ institution is weak to enforce the rules in the society. Additionally, the kaya elders who manage the sites on a day to day basis are becoming fewer over the years due to natural attrition, killing by youth and low interest by the youth to take eldership roles. The youth have a low understanding of the value of the forests and the important roles the elders play in their conservation. This creates a knowledge gap among the young and women resulting in the destruction of the forests and loss of important biodiversity and ecosystem services. This project seeks to enhance the awareness on importance of Kaya forests to promote stewardship by school children of classes 1 to 5 in schools within a 5km radius, connect each student to an important tree they will plant in the school woodlot and a useful plant they will plant in their own farms or homesteads as a way of imparting the knowledge on tree growing in their homes and also raise the tree cover in the landscape. The school children will receive talks, compete in writing good essays about the kaya forests and their natural and cultural biodiversity and be prized individually and school levels at kaya levels. The school children will also visit the kaya forests and interact with the kaya elders to learn about their roles and how they can be enjoined in the conservation of their kaya. The target is about 4 primary schools (M’bungoni, Tsagwa, Tsunguni and Mwandaza Primary Schools) around Kaya Jibana. The target student population will be about 2,000. Each student will plant two trees in the school woodlot and a similar number at their homes giving a total of 8,000 and additional 2,000 new trees in the landscape. The school with the best managed woodlot and trees in their students’ homes will get a prize to be given every end of the year. This we hope will enhance understanding and inculcate a culture of tree growing and good guardianship to young people in the community and help raise the tree cover in the landscape. The project period is 18 months but will be continued every year with support from our partners and the network. The project will be implemented through a partnership between KICORNET, NMK CFCU, WWF Coastal Kenya programme, County Government, KFS, and the Ministry of education in the landscape.
Kilio Cha Haki Youth Group
Area Of Work:
Currently under execution
|Mr. Beatrice Chokwe|
Kilio Cha Haki Youth Group Address - box 861-80108- Tezo, Kituoni, Ngala Umma