Re-greening the land
Southern Kenya is the home to the Maasai people, who completely depend on the land as a main source for income and food.
In this project, we managed to sucessfully re-green 800 hectares of severely degraded land, together with the local Maasai community and our partner MWCT. To recover this area, the Maasai community has dug 72,000 (!) rain water harvesting bunds. These stopped further erosion and enabled rain water to infiltrate the soils again, which was essential for the vegetation to recover. Also, a grass seed banks is initiated and managed by Maasai women, which 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!
- 72,000 rainwater bunds
- Grass seed bank
- Grazing Management
72,000 rainwater bunds
The Masaai community has dug an impressive 72,000(!) 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 bank
Generating income through re-greening
Maasai women initiated and manage a grass seed bank, now generate income through re-greening! The grass seed bank is 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.
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.
We’ve made a short documentary in September 2016 to show the impact of our projects. It is the first video in a series that shows the progress of our projects. The sequel that shows the current re-greening will be released shortly.