Sustainable natural resource management

Since 2004, PEN have been actively mobilizing, coordinating, training and working with the communities in Machakos county ( currently 5 districts of Machakos Central, Kathiani, Kangundo Mwala and Matungulu), where we have already assisted in the formation of divisional CBOs, each with a total membership of over 1,000 people.


However, one of the key challenges (which have kept cropping up in all our meetings in the programme areas) is that of poverty and unemployment rate in this area. Poverty has made the people in this area to rely disproportionately on the exploitation of the environment especially sand harvesting for their basic needs. This has resulted to over exploitation, and consequent environmental degradation. The effects of this include; soil erosion which has made the available farm land unfit for Agricultural production; erosion of riverbanks and destruction of the ground water balance, making a number of rivers in the region dry , destruction of vegetation and general land denudation. The result of this environmental degradation is a more poor community and the continuation of the poverty cycle.


Decreasing rural incomes have led the communities to adopt unsustainable survival techniques to make ends meet, leading to a degraded environment. Clearing of land on the hillsides for cultivation, cutting of trees for firewood, charcoal burning and timber as well as sand harvesting are common and growing practices. We believe that the loss of forest cover and vegetation causes climate change. Droughts have become common resulting in depleted food stocks and poor pastures for livestock. Poor farming practices like over cultivation and poor soil erosion control measures, as well as, small parcels of land as a result of high population pressure has led to low agricultural productivity.


Over exploitation of sand resources has lowered the water table affecting water availability, thus making access to water for domestic use difficult. All these developments have taken place in an environment where the community lacks awareness, organisation and capacity in environmental conservation and management.


PEN's engagement is to provide all the actors, including; community initiatives currently involved in environmental conservation to acquire knowledge and develop skills for rational resource exploitation and managing the environment to ensure resource sustainability and poverty eradication. The main focus being strengthening community's and CBOs capacity in lobbying and advocating for proper and equitable utilization of natural resources and aims at promoting group and individual benefits without compromising the future of the coming generations.

PEN enhance the capacity of communities to sustainably manage local ecosystems and facilitate the creation of local support systems and networks that support natural resource based enterprises.

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