Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A Rural CBO Tells the Story of the Caravan and Climate Justice

Accessing the Planting Area
They heard about it, got interested and got involved. Now, they are telling the Trans African Caravan of Hope story. That is the story of Ibuka a community based organization situated in Meru County, Igembe south district, Ndia location.

Ibuka and the Trans African Caravan of Hope
This CBO is creating awareness on the caravan of hope and in the process, helping its community to better understand climate change and climate justice. They are also garnering for 50, 000 signatures for the Africa People’s Petition by the end of the fortnight. The group’s chairman, Jediel Akula Miori, adds emphatically, “As group leaders we know our team can do this.” Probably it is because of the membership numbers that this group has.  Ibuka, which means arise, was registered in 2008 and is a CBO that has a membership of 13 constituency groups and pulls in slightly over 800 members who meet with executive on a weekly basis.

Discussing the Planting Activity
About Ibuka
In 2010, they launched their first programme which was about environmental conservation and cultural race. The programme saw them plant over 10,000 trees. The 3 day event and was based among different age groups in Meru.

One of IBUKA’s objective is to ensure environmental conservation both in terms of capacity building and practical application, like planting trees. Abraham Miaka Justus, Ibuka’s technical advisor adds that, “We  are working towards planting trees on annual event in order to curb deforestation that has continued to stalk the community.” This is an activity they know will produce positive effects to the communities in Ndia location.  

Since its inception, Ibuka has continually sort to collaborate with the relevant government officials who include the area councilor and chief, administration police, Kenya Forest Service and the Ministry of Agriculture. The involvement of the government officials has proved value adding as they get involved in schools and as they work with the public on their events.

Ibuka in Action
Ensuring Environmental Sustainability while Preserving Indigenous Knowledge
Sustainability of their projects is an element they are working towards in all their projects. Mr Mioro adds, “To sustain the project we decided to start own nurseries instead of relying on purchasing seedlings every time we needed to plant trees.” This made more economic sense to the group.

Ibuka is also big on conserving and sharing indigenous knowledge. “ We have constructed a cultural community resource centre where we preserve indigenous knowledge we get through research or the community around us,” Miaka adds. An open day is set annually and it sees the community members learn more about indigenous knowledge through environmental conservation. They are for instance working towards the community getting back the black beans, popularly known as Njahi in Kenya and the orphan crops like yam. These crops they believe are important to Kenya as it seeks to ensure food security in Kenya.

For now though, they are telling the story of the Trans African Caravan of Hope.

By Maria Wanza

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