Women in arid and
In Makurian and Ilpolei area of Laikipia North
But women in the locality are at the forefront of efforts to curb the spread of the species.
Speaking during an extraction exercise of the menacing shrub in
Joined by other women from the community, Selina leads the exercise of mechanically uprooting the shrub and using the shrubs to cover trenches caused by persistent soil erosion.
With the area experiencing massive soil erosion, the community
“We are killing two birds with one
The opuntia first introduced as an ornament has now infiltrated the landscape rendering livestock herding impossible.
“Our lives have been changed by this
She has witnessed the proliferation of the plant as it deteriorates the productivity of the environment and the fertility of the soil.
‘When we were young girls, the whole of this area was covered by long grass, She recalls adding “ We used to play hide and seek, but sadly, our children cannot enjoy that fun we had due to the invasive species”.
“The women, carrying pangas, jembes, wheelbarrows, spades
The community has identified several clearing sites, where they’ll use them to pilot the rangelands restoration program.
Working with a natural resources management program christened IMARA and County Government, the women hope to reseed more areas currently covered by the invasive species.
“We have so far cleared 5 acres and have reseeded that. Selina says that they are targeting 50 acres in the villages.
“With such areas, we can confidently have our feedlots for our livestock,” she says.
As part of the bigger plan to replenish the rangelands with pastures, IMARA is supporting communities in reseeding. “In our first phase, we have procured and distributed over 600 kgs of grass seeds to be grown in cleared sites,” IMARA Natural Resource Management Technical Specialist Margaret Makui says.
“The feedlot aid hasn’t always been enough, but with the reseeding, we can have control over our fodder for our animals," Selina says
The community group in Makurian is targeting to rehabilitate and restore pastures in 50 acres as a model site, before expanding it to other areas of the sub-county.
The program is keen to support these community-led efforts in the restoration of rangelands for the benefit of current and future generations.
Wesley Kipng’enoh is communications specialist at the World Vision
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