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NGARENDARE FOREST TRUST WINS THE COMMUNITY CONSERVANCY OF THE YEAR 2014


It has been a period of remarkable achievements and plenty of good news that highlighted the milestones the Ngarendare Forest Trust (NNFT) has achieved since Mid 2014.This quarter has particularly been characterized by important  strides that brightens the future of the Trust and reaffirms its core activities. The efforts of the Trust were  crowned by the ultimate winning of the Eco-warrior awards Community Conservancy of the Year 2014.  The win brought  joy and jubilation in the NNFT fraternity after their endeavor brought about recognizable conservation, economic and social development through ecotourism and community development.The annual awards ceremony organized by the Eco-tourism Kenya follows a series of reports and independent reviews, to recognize and award exemplary work in Eco-tourism, conservation and community development. Ngarendare was shortlisted among the five other contestants countrywide and on 18th October, 2014, at a gala dinner at the Carnivore Grounds, Nairobi, Ngarendare Forest Trust was announced the winner. We sincerely thank our community, Friends of Ngarendare, stakeholders and staff for enabling the Trust to win the 2014 trophy. This is a challenge for all of us to work hard and ensure that we keep winning the trophy for more years to come.

Community member admires the trophy

THE ANNUAL TREE PLANTING SEASON


This years Annual Tree Planting day was held on 1st November 2014. The occasion, which was initially surrounded by uncertainties of rains in the region managed to plant 3,000 indigenous seedlings. It was attended by the Safaricom Foundation, flower farms, communities and local primary schools. This day normally marks the beginning of tree planting season in side the Ngarendare Forest.The planting of indigenous species with local communities and NNFT staff continued in the subsequent weeks to finally hit our target of 10,000 seedlings. We were also joined by the National Council for Population and Development in late November who planted over 200 seedlings in the forest

We thank all who participated and who supported this period in their own ways to make the tree planting season a success.
School children planting trees on 1st November 2014
Safaricom Foudation team planting trees on the occasion

THE TRUST-MAINTAINED ROAD NETWORKS BENEFITS BOTH THE COMMUNITIES AND THE FOREST

Have you ever wondered where some of your Friends of Ngarendare (FON) subscription goes?
Maintainance of the forest road networks is our key priority.  The road network within Ngarendare forest average around 40km. They are important not only to ease transport and accessibility between neighboring communities, but o allow quick mobility within the forest in times of disasters like forest fires, stock theft and easy forest patrols.
The roads are maintained by Trust by engaging labour directly from the neighboring communities.The Trust has a well trained road gangs from the community who are engaged twice a year to ensure all the road networks in the forest is well maintained. The roads are maintained with the  donation from  Tusk Trust and and Timaflor ltd.

FRIENDS OF NGARENDARE FOREST (FON) AND  ECO-SYSTEM SERVICE PAYMENTS(ESP)

The Friends of Ngarendare Forest are a valuable group of people who contribute immensely towards the protection and maintenance of the Ngarendare forest. Through their advance subscription the Trust is able to meet some of its operations cost. This year 27 FON subscribed enabling the Trust to collect ksh 270,000. The Friends of Ngarendare is a annual ksh10,000 subscription. The members then enjoy a full year access to the ecotourism sites with their immediate families. FON members are issued with a membership card for identifying themselves whenever they pay a visit to the forest.

Friends of Ngarendare forest (FON) subscriptions is another way of support to enable adjacent neighbours to contribute to ecosystem services payment.Please see our website for how to become a 'FON'. Some of our neghbouring farms and companies are currently supporting NNFT through payment for ecosystem services. We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to TimaFlor Ltd,  Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Borana Conservation Trust, Kisima Farm, Ol donyo Farm, Batian Flowers and Sunland Roses for their invaluable support to NNFT operations through their eco-system service payments.
We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to the current FON members  and We encourage more members to register as FON and enjoy the beauty of forest conservation. We also appeal to our current members to renew their membership subscription  for the 2015.
Please go to www.ngarendare.org and learn how to become a FON.

ECOTOURISM TRENDS
The last quarter of 2014 was exciting for our ecotourism department. Ngarendare forest has got some of the most unique eco-sites in Kenya. With a 450m canopy walkway and natural blue pools being the best attractions  camping and a picnic lunch at the platform leaves  unforgettable memory of the visit to the forest.
The graphs below shows our trends of Residents, non residents and friends of Ngarendare visits.
See the ecotourism trends graph for the year 2014.
 
Ngarendare Forest offers unforgettable forest camping experience in the region

NNFT GETS EXEMPTED FROM TAXES  BY KRA


The NNF Trust has finally got a sigh of relieve after receiving tax exemption certificate from The Kenya Revenue Authority. The certificate which is valid for five years excepts the Trust from paying income tax and this comes at time when the Trust is fund raising for its community projects. The NNFT donors will no longer be taxed for the donations they make to the Trust.
 

THE UPTAKE OF ENERGY SAVING JIKOS


Kisima CBO members collecting their enrgy saving jikos at the Kisima Polo Club grounds on 5th dec. 2014
Since the we introduced the alternative cooking methods to families surrounding the forest in 2013, there has been appreciable amount of sensitization going on in community awareness forums. The energy saving jikos project was proceeded by easier-to-install and cheaper bio-digester units where over 30 households successfully adopted biogas cooking method and there after came the energy saving jikos. The Trust  introduced energy saving jikos to supplement the biogas project. This is in recognition that the low income bracket  families are unable to afford the biogas units. so far over 120 households are currently using the jikos which saves them over 70% of firewood compared to the traditional three-stone-cooking method

FOREST SECURITY : JOINT PATROLS BEARING BETTER RESULTS

The security of the natural resources in Ngarendare Forest is of paramount importance. To ensure that no illegal activity such as logging, sand harvesting, charcoal burning or stock theft takes place in any corner of the forest, joint patrols involving all the community scouts, KFS rangers and community members brings better results than when done by the community rangers only. This combined effort has also strengthened the the sense of ownership of the forest and its resources among  all the stakeholders. This year, a number of fire incidences have been put off through this combined effort, and the communities took it on themselves  to report any charcoal burning or illegal  sand harvesting in the forest
 

NNFT Community scouts

MORE WOMEN GROUPS JOIN COMMUNITY TREE NURSERIES "MOVEMENT"

Women groups at Ethi CBO start a tree nursery for ago-forestry
There is a remarkable awakening to embrace agro-forestry practices among the NNFT communities. Two new community tree nurseries have taken off at Ethi and Kisima CBOs and both are led by women groups. This brings to 8 the number of NNFT-supported community nurseries. With assistance from the Epsom Memorial Fund  formed by Maria Epsom in memory of her husband,  Ethi women group is currently raising over 10,000 seedlings of mixed exotic species to plant in their farms and sell the balance to neighbours to create some income  during the rain seasons. The other tree nurseries are supported t
hrough funds from the Tusk Trust grant
Some of the women-groups managed tree nursries with ready seedlings
UPCOMING EVENTS: 10to4 Bike Challenge!! 13&14th February 2015
The 10t04 bicycle race will be taking place between 13 and 14 February 2015. Ngarendare forest has always been a partner to the race and this time will be keen to team up with Mt. Kenya Trust, Kisima Farm, Ol donyo Farm, Borana Conservancy, among other stakeholders to provide security and other support to this famous event. Please check at http://www.10to4.org for more details
We would highly appreciate your comments on this edition and on how we can improve our next. for more information on Ngarendare Forest Forest Trust, go to our website:
www.ngarendare.org
facebook.com/ngarendare

Thanks

Dominic Maringa

Manager,
Ngarendare Forest Trust

 
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