The Conservation of the Karungu Forest
The climate of Karungu is a semi-arid one with an elevation of about 1, 200 m (3, 900 ft) above sea level. The area experiences an average of 110mm of rain in a year. The rainy season is always short and lasts about three months annually. The area promotes animal rearing and drought resistant crops like millet, sorghum and cassava. The major cash crop is maize. The greatest economic activity is fishing. Educationally, most people have attained an average of primary school level resulting from high levels of school drop outs. Economically, most people live below a dollar a day since they are engaged casual work. The region has been worst hit in the recent past, with severe famine and desertification. Socially, the region is flanked by four fishing beaches that despite the fact that they provide fish for business have also been breeding hub of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The infection statistics are very high. Other areas of concern are use of contaminated lake water, poor road network and poor medical facilities.
The people have resorted to forest cutting for three main economic reasons:
- clearing forest for farming
- cutting forests for fuel (firewood and charcoal)
- cutting forest for timber (for sale)
For this reason we have started in our forest an effort of tree planting and forest conservation. We have started a tree nursery in the parish where we give people who come to church tree seedlings to plant during the rainy season. We also distribute tree seedlings in school and other institutions where we do our ministry. As an alternative for fuel (firewood and charcoal burning) we are thinking of installing a biogas plant that would supply cheap and affordable fuel for the poor people.
We are looking for partners who could support our irrigation work in our nursery and help us install a larger biogas plant that would serve a big number of people. Donations to save these forests can be directed to www.treefoundation.org and earmarked for forests in Kenya Africa. You may use PayPal to donate below:
(Due to processing costs the minimum donation is $25 using PayPal. If you would like to send less, please do so using the MAIL option here.)