Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres.

PRI Kenya starts the Laikipia Permaculture Centre, with the theme: Permaculture for Food Security and Environmental Sustainability in Kenya.


School children using most of their time fetching firewood from great distances

Location: Laikipia County, North of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya

By putting up a permaculture training centre, this would translate into direct education on food growing, indigenous tree propagation leading to return of forest cover, water harvesting and conservation strategies, henceforth leading to a healthy community, self reliance and a self sustaining life that we desperately need in the developing world.

The Goal

Laikipia Permaculture centre was founded in September 2012, by Joseph Lentunyoi when he returned from his permaculture training at the PRI Australia the same year. He teamed up with the Laikipia North community Kenya (Kariunga ward) to see this dream/vision come true. With His over eight years of practicing organic farming and permaculture, he thought about taking it back to his community who come from a pastoralist background.

My Personal Story

When I arrived in Kenya, from Australia in July 2012, I visited my neighbor woman farmer, whose subsistence farming techniques were causing soil erosion and water loss. Subsistence farming is how a large majority of Kenyans and people in the rest of Africa make a living , and I considered how the challenges facing that one farmer are, in many ways, a microcosm of the myriad challenges facing the Kenyan farmer in particular and those in Africa in general. This and other many problems inspired my dream of a permaculture training centre.

Plan

Laikipia Permaculture Centre is a 1.6 hectare farm located on the Laikipia Plain, Kenya. Traditional use of this region has been communal livestock farming — the keeping of cattle, sheep and goats. This has been the key activity here over the last ten years before it was put up for sale. Observations over the years concluded that the damage created by the cattle, goats and sheep was too great.

In the interest of preserving and enhancing the local environment we have started working with local communities to set up a permaculture centre as an alternative towards better livelihoods through education, and by doing this we will demonstrate that in helping each other, we can unleash extraordinary power that impacts our lives. Forest preservation and improved utilisation of natural resources, will be key elements. Laikipia permaculture Centre (LPC) is the only permaculture project starting up in this region. In spite of the ecological benefits to this area and decreasing land for animal communal grazing, the Maasai ethnic group have started transferring their animals to other areas where new degradation is happening.


Erosion just gets worse if nothing is done about it

Objects of the Project

  • To firstly secure the land by fencing to stop the entrance and passage of livestock.
  • To halt the erosion process using a combination of physical and plant barriers. At the same time most water entering the site will penetrate into the soil rather than running straight off.
  • To enhance the soil.
  • To trial a myriad of multipurpose species which have potential in the region.
  • To establish a model for the local people demonstrating the sustainable production possible from an integrated forestry, fodder and food system.
  • To provide a resource base of knowledge and plants for people wishing to implement similar systems.
  • To create a seed-bank of effective species for use within the region and to produce alternative food and fodder.
  • To provide education in the use of these nutritional foods, many of which were traditional dietary staples.
  • Start up a permaculture library for information dissemination to the local community and the wider East Africa region.
  • Network and work very closely with local NGOs and Government bodies doing sustainable farming development.
  • To educate the local existing schools on the importance of producing their own garden-grown food. This would be the process of taking permaculture to schools.
  • Holistic pastoral management.

Together we can move to Self-Sufficiency.

6 Responses to “Laikipia Permaculture Centre – a New Centre for Kenya”

  1. Mary O'Brien

    As a permaculturist and former Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya I highly support what you are doing. This is just the kind of tradingin and education that Kenya and East Africa need to achieve food security, sustainability and land conservation. Good luck!

    Reply
  2. Peter Murage

    My only observationis that this is not a world of competition but a world where we all work together into a relationship where all comes together for sustainable development. The natural ecosystem id balanced and not a single element acts in isolation in the true natural scenarios. We are in laikipia and unfortunately we have not heard about Laikipia Permaculture Centre? In fact I have bounced into this article by chance.
    The good example in the real Permaculture principle is networking and relationships as we have climbers , underground, high level canopies all in one relationship. So why suggest a permaculture approach but no representation of Permaculture Principles. No one single tree in the forest makes a forest. A forest is made up of climbers, twigs, canopies, and flora nad fauna which makes a forest. A forest is not made of a single species of trees.
    Please lets imitate nature and work with nature by avoiding the monoculture route to polyculture systems in the Permaculture world.
    Peter Murage
    MOOF.AFRICA Permaculture Centre
    P.O.BOx 1053 Nanyuki 10400 Kenya

    Reply
    • Kate Lidgerwood

      Peter’s comment are great. Permaculture is the only way. I have a Permaculture Project about to start at Iviani Primary School in Iviani, near Matuu. I really need some experts in the field to come and talk to the students, give them inspiration and knowledge of Permaculture principals. Im calling upon any Permaculturalist that could help me out on the project. I’m willing to pay a trainee to support this project as im only a facilitator and have done some fundraising for it. PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS PROJECT AT IVIANI PRIMARY SCHOOL. Please email me
      1treelove (at) gmail.com
      Regards Kate

      Reply
      • Caren

        Hi Kate,
        Where is your project based at? My boyfriend is really into farming but is currently in the UK, we are currently looking for a farming job for him here as we have a baby soon. When he is here we went woofing on farms, and was interested in biodynamic farming apprentice in the UK. Who has any links to farms that he can start from?

        Reply
  3. bernard muriithi

    Your Comment here…This is a life charging project especially to the communities in laikipia.for the pioneers of permaculture i salute you..am from laikipia and much of the impact experienced am a victim therefore i can voluteer to work with you to improve the standards of living in laikipia..am a specialist in agriculture and environment an i believe i can be of great help.thank you so much.

    Reply

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