Re-greening the land
Southern Kenya is the home to the Maasai people, who mostly depend on the land as a main source of income and food.
In this project, we already managed to sucessfully re-green 885 hectares of severely degraded land, together with the local Maasai community and our local partner, the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT). To recover this area, the Maasai community has dug 78,400 (!) rain water harvesting bunds. These stopped further erosion and enabled rain water to infiltrate into the soils again, which has led to vegetation to recover. Also, grass seed banks has been initiated and is now managed by Maasai women. This re-greened the barren area near their doma (small settlement). They harvest seeds and grasses which generates income while the landscape is restored at the same time!
- Rainwater harvesting
- Grass seed banks
- Grazing Management
By digging earth smiles
The Maasai community has dug an impressive 80.000(!) semi-circular rainwater bunds. These bunds capture rain which would otherwise wash away over the dry and barren soil. The rain water is slowed down and stored temporarily behind the bund, enabling the water to infiltrate the soil. Seeds which were still present in the soil have started to grow and re-green the bunds and also the spaces in between. And further destructive erosion by gullies is prevented and even reversed.
Grass seed banks
Generating income through re-greening
Maasai women initiated and manage grass seed banks, now generate income through re-greening! The grass seed banks are located in one of the most extremely degraded areas near one of the domas (small settlements), and the difference with the surrounding area is enormous. Grass is almost completely covering the fenced area already, resulting in an oasis of green in barren surroundings. Insects and small animals are returning, enabling a recovery of the ecosystem extending mere vegetation recovery. The Maasai women harvest seeds and grass as a source of income, selling them at local markets and for further restoration projects.
To prevent overgrazing and feed the cattle
The sustainability of the projects is being established through a pasture grazing management plan. The community and our local partners work together to prevent further overgrazing. Through a community awareness and mobilization program, involvement of and understanding by the local community is ensured.
The results of the project are so convincing, requests for extension of the projects are made by both communities and other NGO’s in the region.
Community rangers guard the restoration areas and surrounding lands to prevent deforestation, charcoal burning and illegal water extraction. In 6 months time they have covered over 3,700 kilometers in the project areas.
Cooling effect of vegetation
The impact of the water bunds on the micro-climate can be clearly seen in this picture. Move the slider to show the temperature difference between the vegetation inside the bunds and the surrounding bare soil. The soil within the bund is much cooler than outside the bund due to the increased vegetation!
Timelapse re-greening bunds
October 2017 - August 2018
The soil bunds changes into bunds with vegetation. In the drought period you can see very clearly that the vegetation survived! This means that the water is being held and the soil is more fertile. Now we can look forward to the new rainy season!
Seeds of change
Documentaire Rainmakers ll
We have now made two documentaries in Kenya to show the impact of our projects. While the first part of the documentary series Rainmakers shows the beginning of our projects and their necessity, Seeds of Change shows the clear re-greening results of our projects and the positive impact our projects have on humans and animals.