FaIDA is a non governmental organization based in Jarajila division, Fafi District. FaIDA is currently implementing an environmental restoration project in partnership with UNHCR and LWF. The Environmental restoration was commenced in June 2009 and has made tremendous steps since then. Due to refugees influx in this region, the natural resource base is experiencing increased pressure. The need for sticks for shelter construction and firewood rose while the number of livestock grazing in the region increased. FaIDA is implementing the environmental restoration project to counter the negative impacts caused to the environment and thereby enhancing harmony between the host community and the refugees.
The following is a brief description of our current activities;
Nurseries: FaIDA has established two (2) nurseries at Borehole 5 and Alinjugur. The nurseries have the potential to produce 1,000,000 seedlings annually. Currently, the 2 nurseries are the source of the tree and fruit seedlings that are distributed to target areas in the division.
Woodlots: A total of 17 hectares of woodlots where natural vegetation growth is being encouraged have been established. At the same time trees were planted in the woodlots to fill up the open spaces.
Vegetables production: FaIDA has been working to establish vegetable gardens in Alinjugur, Welmerer, Yumbis, Fafi, Madhamerub and Borehole 5 using multi-storey gardening technology. During the ended year 600 multi-story-gardens were made by households for vegetable production. This is in recognition of the need for vitamins by the local community and the challenge of water faced in agricultural production. The community are generally pastoralists relying on livestock. However there is need for the community to get vitamins for good health. On the same note fruit trees is being encouraged. FaIDA has grown and distributed paw paw seedlings. Citrus, mangoes and paw paw seedlings were initiallly bought from Thika and distributed to households.
Green house technology: On realising that the production of vegetables in open fields faces a myriad of challenges considering the scorching sun and pest attacks, FaIDA has piloted the production of vegetables using the closed method of green house technology. Currently, FaIDA is managing two green houses in Alinjugur and Borehole 5 where tomatoes are being produced. The green houses are meant to act as demonstration sites for communities since the technology can be duplicated at that level later.
Tree planting: FaIDA targets households and public places for transplanting of seedlings, such places include schools in the six project sites, mosques, water points, police camps and woodlots e.t.c a total of 92,925 treeseedlings have since been planted in these areas.
Environmental education: Going hand in hand with envirionmental restoration is the carrying out of environmental education. This is done in schools through the established environmental clubs that are taught on environment best practices, this is inculcated using environmental essays that students in respective schools compete in. In the community, FaIDA carries out community barazas where members are informed how to protect and restore the environment, here, their knowledge on environmental management is sought and documented.
FaIDA aims at building the capacity of the community in environmental conservation. In doing this community mobilisation have been done to get community involvement. To build the technical capacity, FaIDA has been carrying out training for youth and women groups on environmental conservation and on nutrition. Faced with the challenge of water scarcity, FaIDA is piloting on greenhouse vegetable production. Currently the tomatoes are being harvested. The finding now has given the greenlight for expansion of greenhouse vegetable production. FaIDA intends to buy greenhouses for groups in order to boost their livelihood.
The project has tremendous progress within a short period. The two tree nurseries so far been established in Alinjugur and in Borehole 5 has given a opportunity for training the youth and women group in raising tree seedlings. The women groups are given a stipend for the labour in the nurseries.
- Pests have presented a major challenge to the vegetables grown in most project sites. Squirrels were particularly destructive to the water melon. Some careful spraying was done to get rid of insect pests. Netting was utilized to prevent squirrels in homesteads.
- The short term nature of planning for the environmental restoration project
- High expectations from community members who expect many employment opportunities and constantly demand pay increases
- Lack of water, water salinity in most centers
- Lack of proper water harvesting structures e.g. water pans, masonry tanks e.tc to be used for harvesting water that can be used to water seedlings and in vegetable production at designated areas in project site
- Poor roads which make transporting of tree seedlings difficult using a land cruiser.