NEED: Kakamega Environmental Program is a lobby group that promotes the sustainable management of Kakamega forest. This need emerged after it was noted that the forest resources were being over exploited to cater for energy needs of the surrounding community. The group promotes the utilization of organic waste as an alternative energy source and as a means of income generation through briquette making.
AVENUE TO MEET NEED: The goal of the project is to promote the growth of indigenous trees and conservation of Kakamega forest through sensitization in schools, churches and barazas on the importance of biodiversity conservation.
IMPACT: As a result of group’s activities, environment conservation efforts have improved within the community and a sense of ownership is evident. Other initiatives that enhance sustainability of the project include sale and installation of modern energy saving cook stoves (jikos) that burn biomass more efficiently.
The project uses grassroots channels to create awareness on biodiversity conservation awareness. The inclusion of religious leaders and government officials like chiefs enhances the credibility of conservation messages as the community looks up to these individuals as their opinion leaders.
INNOVATION: The group produces smokeless briquettes made from waste paper and leaves to meet energy needs.
NETFUND EFFECT: With the NETFUND GIA 2014 grant, the initiative has now increased its profit by over 600% per month through the sale of briquettes. The production of briquettes from the project has increased by over 200% while distribution of seedlings to schools now amounts to over 4,200 monthly.