Monday, October 28, 2013

Environmental Health day held successfully

By James Mathu

What started as normal training by Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in collaboration with Fadhili trust on environmental issues bore the idea to hold Environmental health and safety day. The training was meant to encourage farmers within Nguruman irrigation scheme to take charge of their environment by cleaning their surrounding. A joint effort by MOA, Ministry of health (MOH), Fadhili Trust,IWUA and ALIN saw the environmental health day held on 25th October, 2013 a success.

 As per the plan, the day begun with destroying charcol kiln that were mounted illegally. Community rangers, MOA and the area chiefs were at the scene to supervise the whole process. every one at the scene wore a 'no nonsense' face sending a clear signal to the audience that, charcoal burning in Nguruman was not a permitted practice.

A commuity member opens up a charcoal kiln in presence
of community wardens and area chiefs. Photo by James Mathu
Charcoal kiln reduced to ashes as a lesson to other offenders
Other activities picked up as agreed with students from three primary schools armed with banners bearing different messages some of which read 'Usihatarishe soko yetu ya matunda kwa kuchafua mazingira' (Don't endanger our horticultural market by polluting the environment) where children chanted many slogans like 'chimba choo na utumie' (dig up a pit latrine and use it).

Students with different information materials photo by James Mathu
The voices of the small angles echoed even inside the woods as they went on to collect and destroy garbage around the shopping centre where shop owners and and the town residents also participated. The climax of the event went down when the area chief invaded the illicit brew dens and poured over 200 liters leaving the lovers of the drink saddened.

Different community groups entertained guests passing different messages to the participants. some of the messages included; logging as illegal act, polluting the rivers by bathing and washing in them and defecating near river courses messages which were echoed by the area chief while addressing the congregation. A stern warning was issued to the offenders and a legal action agreed upon an action that was welcomed by all community members present during the occasion.

The participants  chanted a slogan 'We have done it.. It should be repeated every month' to end the days ceremony.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Passing information through drama

Pepea community initiative group is a registered non profit group located in Nguruman area, Magadi division Kajiado west sub-county. It has set its objectives to salvaging the girl child and educating the whole community on issues of importance to their development. The group has its priorities on education, educating people on effects of early marriages, drug abuse, HIV & Aids and female genital Mutilation and alternative rite of passage. 

Pepea group members at a church function
The group passes its messages through organized drama sessions in churches, schools, public gatherings and private functions. The drama caries a certain theme depending on the occasion and though their intervention, they have reaches quite a large number of community members. After each play, the group engages its audience in an interactive sessions where questions and answers are shared regarding the theme and what the community member would like see next time.

"We have been able to engage the community during our drama shows and some of the issues have been addressed... we have received a lot of positive response from community members who want specific issues featured on the next shows.." Mr. Parantae, Group chairman.

Pepea group acting a play during a public gathering
The group has ability to bring more change, however they lack resources to enable them reach other community members, far and wide within the county who need the information and therefore is seeking support from well wishers to enable them accomplish their goal