Category Archives: Farming

Including dairy, poultry and bee farming

Kileva News Letter #4


CONTENTS

Kileva at Voi Divisional and Voi sub-county Athletics Competitions
End of Term Exams
Toilet Cleaning Duties
Update on Competence Based Curriculum
Wildlife Club Update
Health Club Update
Music & Dance Club Update
Goodbye to Abi Jonson
The Elephants and Bees Community


Kileva at Voi Divisional and Voi sub-county Athletics Competitions

Report by
Games Master, Mr George Mwaviswa and Mdm Priscillah, Athletics Team Manager

24th March

Today we took four pupils for Voi Divisional Athletics Competition held at Voi Boys Secondary School. Margaret Mwake managed position 4 out of 10 in triple jump, John Mwandege was position 8 out of 15 in 3000m, Saidi Ali was no 5 out of 10 in triple jump. Jane Mwakima was position 1 out of 15 in 3000m. She will represent us in Sub-county scheduled for 29/3/2018.

29th March

Below is a ‘photo of Jane Mwakina just before leaving for Voi to represent Kileva Eastfield Primary in Voi Sub county Athletics Games today.

Go back to top of page



End of Term Exams

Report by
Mdm Agnes Nyange, Examination officer

27th March

Day two end of term exam in progress. Pupils are doing science and kiswahili.

End term of exams started today. These are intended to end on 29.3.2018, then the school to break for Easter.

Go back to top of page



Toilet Cleaning Duties

Report by
Mdm Kelly, Health Club Patron, assisted by Mr Mazai.

Here you see pupils cleaning their toilets then washing their hands after the exercise which was supervised by Mr. Mazai, who is the Health Teacher Assistant Mdm Kelly. We lack proper materials for cleaning the toilets.

Below are learners happily being served food after having washed their hands thoroughly. They are eagerly waiting to go for Easter Weekend. Happy Easter to you all.

Through Maggie ,on behalf of the First Aid and Health Club plus Wildlife Club, we sincerely appreciate f. or recognizing our efforts to help our school grow, and also for the kids to get support. we are very grateful for appreciating our efforts for the betterment of our school, and we still want to work hard and make sure that we surpass your expectationsWe promise to be more active and innovative in anything that concerns the school for you to get updates.

May God bless you all.

Go back to top of page



Update on Competence Based Curriculum

Report by
Madame Kelly, Grade 1 teacher

Hi all,

The latest School Curriculum, which is mainly known as the CBC (Competence Based Curriculum) and is mostly based in talent nurturing, has helped the kids to do what they do best, and they seem to enjoy it.

The kids do modelling and learn everything naturally. Grades 1 &2 sing , do movement and creative activities. In it there are many subjects like religion, art enticingly drawing and painting, and many more subjects.

For example aboveis a child doing creative work which also in some way can be an environmental lesson. She’s creating a car using pebbles.

Learners enjoy this system well.

Go back to top of page



Wildlife Club Update

Report by
Madame Kelly assisted by Mr Mazai.

The Wildlife Club, which is a newly formed club in the school, decided to plant trees in the whole school compound. This was done from Pre primary 1 to class 8.

The whole school which consists of more than 110 pupils managed to plant their trees. Each child takes care of their tree by doing mulching and watering daily in the morning and in the evening. The trees are going on well.

We the patrons offer support and do follow ups with the kids. Currently we are targeting to register the whole school to become wildlife members whereby the kids will access cards that will enable them to go visit the parks for free. Also the school gets a recognized certificate from Kenya Wildlife service. So far we have recruited more than 50 kids whereby they have paid each 50 shillings.

The Patrons look forward to come up with more activities to conserve the animals and environment at large.

Go back to top of page



Health Club Update

Report by
Madam Kelly
First Aid/ Health patron assisted by Mr Mazai.

We as Health Club members embrace in eating healthy. We strive to lead a healthy lifestyle.

So in conjunction to this we got greens from the school shamba which is well taken care of by the Elephants and Bees Team just to add to our school diet of maize beans.

Below are pupils being directed and led by the teacher to sort the mbogas in order for our cook – popularly known as “MAO” – to cook. The kids enjoy doing this.

Go back to top of page



Music & Dance Club Update

Report by
Report by Mdm Priscillah, Music and Dance Club Patron assisted by Mdm Agnes Mwapulu.

Kileva Eastfield Primary School Music and Dance Club make ornaments and musical instruments like drums, jingles, beads, strings and head gears from locally available materials such as boxes, lessos and feathers. They will humbly appreciate if they get more costumes and instruments, so if you’d like to make a donation to help out please go to the Gift Shop tab and follow the links.

The Music and Dance Club ushered in the Easter celebrations in a jovial style. There were sweet melodies accompanied by a guitar, from a guitarist a friend of the music and dance club Mr Mtume, a Mwakoma village dancer who taught pupils and teachers how to use the guitar.

Then a vigorous dance about “The Importance of Education.” – “Mashomo, Nani waniwangie mashomo.” This was in praise of their Founders, Sir Cliff Evans, Director Mdm Maggie, Teachers and their Head teacher Mr Mwalwala, not forgetting Hon.Godwin Kilele. Happy Easter to all.

Go back to top of page



Goodbye to Abi Jonson

Report by
Margaret Kiriro

Today Abi Jonson Elephant and Bees intern student came to say bye officially after finishing her masters project . She took some time to chat with pupils on bees, and thanked them for their good cooperation during her stay with them. She was accompanied with two of her staff and Mr Kennedy

They also appreciated her for the good relationship she maintained, and they welcomed her back any time she feels like.

Go back to top of page



The Elephants and Bees Community

Report by
International Intern, Ewan Brennan

January 2018

Community-based conservation projects – protecting wildlife while improving the livelihoods of local people – can be one of those rare, truly win-win situations where both local communities and wildlife enjoy the benefits. Before I arrived at the Elephants & Bees Project, I figured protection of crops from raiding elephants and additional income from honey production would make for pretty great community benefits. Being virtually safe from the potential of losing your entire seasons crop to a group of huge and hungry elephants must be quite a reassurance.

However, I soon came to realise the project offers many less immediately obvious benefits to the locals of Sagalla, the foremost being the incredible sense of community it helps sustain. The research centre serves as a central meeting point for all members of the surrounding villages, often being used several times each week by the various community groups. At the local school, the environmental education, weekly movie night and farm club build strong, positive relationships between the E&B team and the schoolchildren – joint after-school football games and high-5s in the street are common events. It’s not just the school children either – wherever you might be, pretty much everyone will greet you and be eager for a chat.

Beehive farmers hold a monthly meeting at the research centre to get together to discuss progress and issues. (photo by Rachel Dickson)

The beehive farmers themselves are quite a bunch. Every one hard working and enthusiastic about his or her beehive fence, they are a pleasure to spend time with. Always accompanying you during monitoring, tracking or night work, they are keen to share anecdotes about their shambas or find out more about how you ended up in Sagalla. I was very much left with the impression that they were envied by many other non-beehive fence farmers in the community.

Smiles all round even after a late night tending to active hives. (photo by Naiya Raja).

The sense of community and teamwork is also strong within the research camp. With a diverse, energetic, like-minded team, day-to-day responsibilities and issues are quickly taken care of with minimal fuss. Despite the dynamic nature of the camp, everyone is more than willing to get involved and help out with each other’s projects to make sure everything runs smoothly. The team spirit persists into the evenings and weekends too – hanging out and relaxing in camp or at one of the surrounding lodges was always great fun.

The team share a laugh during a weekend camp out in Tsavo East National Park after a long week of work. (photo by Ewan Brennan)

This sense of community – something that is of great importance in any conservation project – has been a definite internship highlight for me. When people share attitudes and work towards the same goals, I believe progress is far more easily achieved. It’s been an invaluable learning experience and quite the exciting adventure – I feel very fortunate to have been part of such a fascinating and successful project, and hope that I can be back in Sagalla before too long!

The (almost) full team looking cheery, even at 7am! (photo by George Troup)

 

Go back to top of page


Advertisements

Kileva News Letter #2


CONTENTS

 

New Styles of Agriculture in Mwakoma
Farm club members participating in planting trees to conserve the environment
Learning more about Permaculture Farming
Strike impacting Margaret’s University Course


New Styles of Agriculture in Mwakoma

Report by
Madam Aggy

 

Go back to top of page



Farm club members participating in planting trees to conserve the environment.

Report by
Madam Kelly, First Aid Teacher
Mr George, Wildlife Club Patron.

We have finally started the wildlife club in our school. Currently there is ongoing registration whereby each student is to become a member and with the help of Dr Lucy’s Save the Elephants Team who agreed to sponsor the school for a trip, then each child is to pay 50 Kenyan Shillings.

Until now we were targeting the whole school in order for them to get the park cards, but only approximately 20 have paid so far. So in conjunction to this we were requesting if maybe the foundation could In some way help for the most needy students.

Also today we requested them to come with a seedling each in order for them to plant each a tree and take Care of them daily with the help of the Wildlife Club. To this we shall have a planting session tomorrow.

Go back to top of page



Learning More about Permaculture Farming

Report taken from a post made to the Elephants and Bees blogsite on December 24, 2017
by

Kenyan Student, Kennedy Lemaiyan

Myself at the permaculture course – getting my hands dirty!

How about growing food in an organic manner, caring for the environment, sustainably feeding school kids, and equipping local farmers to put more food on their tables?

Kileva Eastfield Primary School permaculture garden was initiated by the Kileva Foundation and the Elephants and Bees Project in late 2015. The farm was initially a research field testing the potential growth of some of the non-palatable crops to elephants.

Class work: coming up with designs and suggestions on crops to grow at Brackenhurst school garden.

Later on, after the realization of its potential in food production, the project extended the small farm into growing vegetables, fruits, and even employing two community members (Paul and Jacinta) to work in the farm. The farm has occasionally fed the school kids, especially the young ones in the Kileva kindergarten and at times the entire school. There was a need to come up with plans to feed more mouths more frequently. This required gaining more skills and knowledge into the world of farming.

Mark Nicholson holding Desmodium incanum, a nitrogen fixing plant in the forest.

To gain these skills, The Elephants and Bees Project enabled me to attend a practical permaculture workshop hosted by Barefoot Soulutions at Bruckenhurst hotel in Limuru. The workshop began on 25th November to 1st December 2017. We were a group of fifteen trainees and three instructors (Sven, Mike and Tichafa the permaculture guru from Zimbabwe) – our first class begun where we were divided in to groups of two and told to introduce yourself to your partner and your partner introduces you to the class.

The workshop entailed a lot of lessons and practicals such as: companion cropping, dry land farming, ecological processes, soil regeneration, soil improvement through (compost making, mulching, double digging) erosion control, species selection, Integrated pest management(IPM), home garden designs, natural forest & the conservation zone, various presentations from trainees on before/after maps, plans of action and much more.

Our group ‘tea’ planting spinach, lettuce, beetroot, kale, onions on our mandela design.

We made field trips to various organizations and farms around. We visited ‘care of creation Kenya’ which is a Christian faith based organization in Limuru empowering farmers to grow crops in Gods perspective and highly discourages violent farming. The organization uses two set-ups (Farming Gods Way FGW and Conventional Farming CF). FGW involves mulching the field which comes with other benefits while CF involves normal farming without mulch.

Five different Crops are grown in plots size of 9m by 4.5m for the experiments, FGW plots produce significantly greater yields compared to conventional traditional plots. All the plots are given equal treatments; the same planting date, crop variety, spacing, planting depth, receiving equal amount of external input and rainfall yet all Gods way plots produce higher yield than conventional farming. From previous harvest onion yield from FGW plot was 5 times more than conventional plots onions, maize 3 times more and potatoes 4 times more. When mulching there’s more life in soil, minimal disturbance of soil because mulch prevents weeds, retains water, prevents erosion and holds the soil structure. Crag explained the disadvantages of leaving the ground bare; violent farming and clearing of vegetation cover for inappropriate farming with poor yield. Giving an example of plastic that is dropped at the start of the Tana river and finds its way in to the ocean in 3 days, compared to when it took 3 weeks in previous years, due to dense vegetation cover.

A comparison between 2 on-site plots. Both planted on the same day and given equal treatments in all aspects.

Further experiments were done on the two FGW plots which are covered with mulch and CF plots which are bare and exposed. The first experiment was on water retention; it involved scooping the same amount of soil from both plots in a trough container and pouring in water. The CF soil sample lost water after pouring in one and a half cups of water causing run-off whilST FGW PLOTS retained water up to four and a half times better than CF. Experiments on soil structure and soil erosion were also done and Gods way soil structure was maintained while convention broke up so easily. When examining soil erosion through run-off water samples, the runoff from Gods way soils remained clean while runoff from conventional way soils was very dirty (washed away).

Making rectangular design – where we planted vegetables and learnt about companion cropping & pest control

We also visited Mlango farm which is a privately owned farm, a living paradise full of ripe fruits and vegetables of every kind. It is a living Garden of Eden where people go learn, rest and enjoy the peaceful rural environment under the warm African atmosphere.

Mango farm, a small section planted with lettuce, spinach and use of onion as a boundary crop and keeping away pest.

After various lessons in class and trips it was time to get our hands dirty by going to the field for practicals. We worked in two different groups, tea and coffee, which are both crops that do well in highland areas and are both the pillars of Kenyan agriculture. In our first practical we came up with a mandala permaculture design at Bruckenhurst farm and planted different vegetable crops, cover crops, nitrogen fixing crops and fruits. Our second practical was at Mikes farm, one of our instructors, where we learned about different permaculture designs; mandala, kidney shape, and rectangular beds. We planted lettuce, spinach, onions, coffee plants and various other crops using compost and other organic substances like absorber, enhancer and much more.

Sample water collected after experiments from both plots (FGW & CF).

Bruckenhurst school farm was our last practical session where we came up with a small school garden for the school children. This involved coming up with a farm in-cooperating the five senses (smell, touch, sound, taste and mandala sight) for smell we planted herbs; citronella, marigold, lemon and lavender. Touch; aloe, vetiver grass, touch me not, sage and lambs ear. Taste involved edible crops bananas, passion fruit, cassava and sweet potatoes. Mandala sight; coffee and flowers. Sound; bird feeders and bird bath tubs

soil samples of farming god’s way and conventional farming.

Next, we took a tour to Bruckenhurst indigenous forest, which is more than ten years old and a true serving model of a totally ecologically restored forest. Mark Nicholson, the director of plants for life at Bruckenhurst botanical garden, began his work on changing the forest into a totally indigenous forest after a realization of almost empty gaps in the forest, invasive species, loss of indigenous biodiversity and loss of indigenous knowledge. The forest was cleared, invasive species uprooted, exotic species replaced and only indigenous trees were planted including critically endangered species, timber trees, curving trees medicinal trees and much more. Various tree species in the forest include; Croton megalocarpus, Prunus africana, Coddia africana, Wabugia ugadensis and Chrysophyllum ngorungosum. Now the forest is full of life with some wildlife species and birds making a comeback to what was originally their home.

A trip into Bruckenhurst indigenous forest showing various indigenous trees.

Back in Sagalla plans are under way for the school permaculture. First, we will use mulching to conserve moisture, reduce run-off, avoid weeding, and maintain our soil life. We will use various permaculture techniques such as the use of mandalas for vegetables, key holes on sloppy areas to harvest water, worm farming, companion cropping, and pest control. Through these techniques we are hoping our farm will become a perfect model demonstration site to the local community about crops that can survive in the arid climate of sagalla and have economic and nutritional values. We will also use our permaculture garden as a research field to come up with crops that are non-palatable to elephants. Through all of these things that we have learned, we hope to give a chorus to the win-win solution rhythm.

Sven, our instructor, using his forearm to measure space between crops, (distance between crops) for planting different veggies on the farm.

The work shop was very educational, with awesome trips, delicious meals, nice accommodation, good friends and YES!! Permaculture is the way forward for creating food security with the help of fellow gardeners, living systems and appreciation to the environment. The only reason for human wildlife conflict is because of greed. People are greedy doing things violently, chopping trees for land, violent farming, disrupting the soil, fighting against nature instead of working with nature, resulting to low yields and need for more land. The only solution is PERMACULTURE!!! Get your hands dirty!!!

Many thanks to Barefoot Solutions for such a productive, informative and inspiring week learning all things permaculture – we look forward to producing results in our own shamba at Kileva Eastfield School!

Go back to top of page



Strike impacting Margaret’s University Course

Report by
Margaret Kiriro

As many of you may already know, Margaret, our Operations Director in Kenya, is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Education course at the Pwani University in Kilifi (click HERE for more info).

However her studes have been somewhat interrupted by disputes between the teachers’ union and the Kenyan Government. Click HERE for an article highlighting the latest situation in this dispute

Go back to top of page

%d bloggers like this: