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Workcamp protecting the environment in the middle of the rainforest

KAKAMEGA FOREST AGRICULTURAL CENTRE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

Kakamega forest is a rain forest the largest East African forest that used to stretch from Kenya to Democratic Republic of Congo now reduced to Kenya all the way to Uganda.

The forest including reserves encloses about 238 square kilometers, a little less than half of which currently remains as indigenous forest. The forest is elevated at predominantly between 1500 m and 1600 m above sea level. In the north of the forest is the 4,468 hectares (45 km2; 17 sq mi) Kakamega National Reserve, given national forest reserve status in 1985. Just to the north is the Kisere Forest Reserve. Throughout the forest are a series of grassy glades, ranging in size from about 1 to 50, with a few larger clearings. The origins of the glades are uncertain. Some are certainly recent clearings, but others predate recent records. These may have originated from past human activity such as cattle grazing or may be the result of herbivory and movements by large mammals such as buffalo and elephants (both now extirpated from the region). The glades vary a great deal in structure, some being open grass and others having a considerable number of trees or shrubs. A number of streams and small creeks run through the reserve. The larger creeks are usually bordered by a few to tens of meters of forest on either side which divide the glades, while the smallest creeks flow through open grasslands, often forming small marshy patches.

Kakamega rainforest is the only tropical rain forest in Kenya of the Guineo-congolian type that once stretched across from West Africa to East Africa.

The forest is penetrated by network of walking trails silent with only a melody of singing birds, whispering threes, rasp of butterflies as they fly on by, the chattering of monkeys and gurgling streams nearby.

Kakamega forest is located in Western Kenya, 418 KM from Nairobi city through, Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu Kakamega town then Kakamega Isecheno forest station.

Kakamega rainforest has over 360 species of birds, 380 species of plants, 400 species of butterflies, 7 species of primates.

Kakamega forest plants, 80% are of highly medicinal plants that traditionally local people use them to cure Malaria, prostate cancer, common cold and many others.

Kakamega forest is an Ornithologist’s dream where many different rare birds’ species are found including Great blue turaco, Blue headed bee-eater, Turners Eremomela, Yellow bellied wattle-eye, African shrike-flycatcher, Petit’s cuckoo-shrike and many others.

Mammals of Kakamega forest Includes Primates, Bushback, Red and blue Duikers, Bush pigs, Porcupines and at night Flying squirrels, Hammer Headed fruit bats, Tree pangolins, poto, Mongoose along the rivers Clawless otter.

Who will explain or interpret Tropical rainforest Biodiversity including; Birds, Primates, Medicinal plants, Butterflies and cultural activities of local people staying around the forest.

Duration of the project: The program will run for a minimum of 6 months. The program is running throughout the year.

Orientation: Orientation meeting will take place in Nairobi before proceeding to the project.

Accommodation: At a host family. Please note that you will share the typical living conditions of a Kenyan family. There will be electricity, but no shower and pipe water/taps at the accommodation. Volunteers will be using buckets for bathing. Water will be boiled for drinking purposes and those who prefer can buy bottled water.

Location: Kakamega forest is located in Western Kenya

Age range: 18 and over

Participation fee: 600 Euros for 3 months

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The volunteers will be expected to participate in:

  • Tree Nursery caring/Tree Nursery Planting, filling the gap in the forest
  • Environmental Education in Schools and within the local Luhya communities.
  • Food security education
  • Bio diversity monitoring
  • Counting and noting the different species of birds
  • Feeding the colobus monkey and other species of monkeys.
  • Community capacity building.
  • Butterfly farm
  • Work in the snake park farm.

Other activities include Agro-forestry and nursery management/ grafting, planting: close spacing in diagonal offset in rows by hand in BIA beds, companion planting and crop rotation, practical non-chemical pest and disease management, identification, extraction and establishment of herbs for pest and disease management in crops, the village seed selection and saving of open pollinated crops (indigenous vegetables), mix farming farms, the rural indigenous chicken rearing system (free range), making a bee hive (langstroth and Kenya top bar hive).

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