Mount Elgon Foundation

Supporting livelihoods on Mt Elgon in western Kenya.

LocationAfrica

Issue AreaLivelihood

Amount NeededGeneral Support Needed

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Our Mission

The Mount Elgon Foundation seeks to improve the livelihoods of communities living on Mt Elgon in western Kenya, as part of a wider programme to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of the area.

The Need

The farmers on Mt. Elgon suffer crop raiding by elephants which leads to severe impacts on their livelihoods and loss of life. Many local communities on Mt. Elgon also lack piped water and economic opportunities leading to their marginalization and poverty.

The Solution

For the Human Elephant Conflict program, beehive fences are to be installed to frighten the elephants away; while the Water Project program will pipe water from a restored canal/reservoir to local people and increase seedling production at a tree nursery.

Our Impact

The Human Elephant Conflict program will reduce crop raiding using beehive fences and honey production will provide alternative income. The Water Project phase 1 is completed, and phase 2 is now required to take piped water to the community and to further increase tree seedling production.

Two of the trustees of the Mount Elgon Foundation have been involved in the water project for a number of years. The Foundation wishes to build on that to complete the work and to develop other projects that improve local people’s livelihoods while preserving their environment.

The Kimuryoony Canal (known as the “furrow” to its original builders) is a hand dug system from the colonial era designed to follow the mountain’s contours and carry water about 10km down to a coffee processing station. The coffee is long gone but what water still flowed fed the largest Kenya Forest Service tree seedling nursery in the area and a local school.

By 2017, the system carried just a fraction of the water it once did and a key reservoir was estimated to be around 90% silted up. Hence the volume of water was insufficient to either grow the number of seedlings required for the area or to serve the local community who suffer water poverty.

The two trustees of the Foundation supported a local social entrepreneur to survey the route of the canal and they then helped arrange funding for the canal’s restoration. This created local employment during the refurbishment as well as a significant increase in seedling production to aid reforestation. A second stage of the project is proposed to take piped water to the local community and increase economic opportunities through more tree planting.

The Foundation’s next project to improve local livelihoods seeks to start addressing the raiding of local farms by elephants. This is leading not only to severe impacts on the livelihoods of the farmers concerned but also to loss of life as the farmers seek to protect their crops.

Elephants are well known to be frightened of bees. They are one of the few deterrents to elephants. How they can be used to protect crops is by means of connecting their hives with ropes around the fields so when elephants approach they cannot enter the fields without disturbing the bees. They then emerge from their hives at which points the elephants typically move off quickly without doing any damage.

There is a tradition of bee keeping by local people since time immemorial on Mt Elgon. Hence this project will not only protect current livelihoods, it will also assist in the creation of additional income for local people through production and sale of honey.

About this Organization

LocationAfrica
Issue AreaLivelihood

About Give2Asia

Give2Asia is a trusted partner for international philanthropy and the leader in donor-advised giving to the Asia-Pacific. Our mission is to strengthen communities in Asia by making cross-border giving easier and more effective. Since 2001, Give2Asia has facilitated more than $420 million of charitable grants across 23 countries. Give2Asia is a US-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California with offices in Beijing and in-country experts across the Asia-Pacific region.