Help Support Zach's Outreach to Kenya
$650 raised
12 contributors
5 Years running
A crisis is brewing in Makueni district of Kenya; the pressures of population growth, unemployment and energy poverty have led to deforestation, soil erosion, dwindling water resources, and failing crop yields. I spent the winter of 08-09 living in this
Please help support my outreach trip to Kenya this January. I have invested a great deal of time and resources into seeing this project succeed. With my professional and personal experiences I am able to commit my time and knowledge into helping this impoverished village during this crucial period.

A crisis is brewing in Makueni district of Kenya; the pressures of population growth, unemployment and energy poverty have led to deforestation, soil erosion, dwindling water resources, and falling crop yields. Since my first visit to the village over the winter of 08-09 I became deeply involved in applying my background in Forestry and International Natural Resources Management to help the people divert this crisis. During that period I came to appreciate how the struggles of humanity can build a community off of the reliance and respect for ones neighbor. Within the core of the Kamba people I have found a people filled with happiness in the little things while the struggles for survival become an ever more daunting task. Since my time there I have been mirroring my own career with the development of solutions to the issues facing this semi-arid region. Now our organization is upon a vital turning point that will lay the foundation for a more sustainable and prosperous future for these impoverished communities.

On behalf of Drylands Natural Resources Center (DNRC), I have personally financed a return in January to the small villages at and around Miauni, Kenya . The Miauni project has expanded from 30 members to over 300 since my previous visit. We now employ three members of the village to run the nursery and organizing the distribution of resources to our membership. To encourage and promote the pride that comes from private ownership, we subsidized the cost (Less than 50% market value) of the trees to these members. As a result, those members have planted over 50,000 trees. Each tree has been carefully selected to suit these semi-arid conditions while also providing essential economic and environmental properties.

The timing of this great achievement corresponds with an urgent and requisite next step toward our overall goal: to provide members with the tools and training necessary to manage their woodlots effectively from day one. This will be achieved by maximizing growth and performing the maintenance necessary to produce a high valued sustainable resource. There is a further need to expand our nursery and to build an office with a sense of permanence in the community. I have recently been recognized as an Internationally Certified Arborist. This certification signifies my devotion to continue with the acquiring and teaching these important resource management skills and to work to bring environmental and economic prosperity to poverty stricken areas such as these.

Back in 2008, I never would have imagined that, when my dear friend and colleague Nicholas ‘Mutuku’ Syano honored me with an invitation to stay in his village and help him on his project, I would be part of something that makes a lasting change. Miauni is faced with many resource management issues it is our goal to offer our knowledge, experience, and understanding of sustainable resource development, to develop a model which addresses comprehensively those issues.

This was only made possible through the generosity of supporters like you. We especially thank members of the Rotary Club & Center for Community Regeneration Inc who has generously rewarded sixteen of the most devoted families with a water harvesting tank for their sustainable woodlot, changing their lives for the better. I will forever hold DNRC close to my heart since being directly involved during its inception. DNRC is now a Kenya registered non-profit organization and received an endorsement from Global Giving, which also makes DNRC a tax exempt 501 C3 non-profit charitable organization.
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