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Osotua Foundation, Kenya

  • Definition
    Devising project idea, defining the aim and main components
  • Design
    Specifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
  • Financing
    Searching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
  • Implementation
    Execution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
  • Maintenance
    Operational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
  • Scaling Up
    Scaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.

Wildlife, Livestock and People in Southern Kenya

Situated close to the Tanzanian border, the Eratamare project aims to introduce regenerative practices to support 150 Maasai land owners connected to the project. Following the traditional principles of the Maasai – an ethnic pastoralist group to which the participants belong -, a great focus is placed on aligning the interests of wildlife, livestock, and people. The goal is to provide economic opportunities, whilst preserving local values, biodiversity, and the open plains of the savanna. In the long term, the plan is to create an organic brand collecting the homesteads’ produce and selling it to local lodges and markets to provide the Maasai with an income source.

Maasai with livestock, Source: Osotua Foundation

Increasing Impact of Climate Change

In recent times, many Maasai in the area had to change their way of life from a nomadic to a sedentary lifestyle. As they are traditionally nomads living off livestock, it is still their main base of livelihood. Livestock can in the best case be an integral part of a mixed farming system and provide nutrient cycling and other ecosystem services. Though without proper management, in the worst case it can degrade farmland and push desertification. The change of land use and smaller land area requires a different way of farming than their traditional one to be able to not degrade the soil and cultivate in drought-resistant, productive, and sustainable ways. This need is exacerbated by the increasingly felt impacts of climate change in the area. More resilient nature inclusive land-use systems are needed to resist these adverse conditions and adapt to Maasai livelihoods. 

Together with the Osotua Foundation, we will set up a regenerative demonstration plot (Model Farm) and an educational facility (Model School) to build the necessary knowledge and capacities among the Maasai to implement regenerative agroforestry systems on their homesteads. The main objective is to provide sustainable economic opportunities for Maasai smallholders whilst increasing resilience to climate change. 

Source: Osotua Foundation

Living in Harmony with Nature 

The project aims to be an inspiring example of how humans can live in harmony with nature. Wildlife fences will be replaced by hedges providing habitat for many smaller forms of life as well as essential ecosystem functions, whilst important wildlife and livestock migrating corridors will be kept open. Furthermore, the project can provide new opportunities for self-empowered livelihood improvements of Maasai and their families. A successful and respectful treatment of nature is intrinsic to the Maasai which is why farming practices that restore the ecological balance are aligned with their interests.  

The environmental impact of this project is intrinsically linked with the productivity of the homesteads and, thus, the prosperity of its Maasai. Agroforestry techniques will improve the management and retention of water through ground cover and shading. It will counteract erosion and desertification, whilst implying a farming system that is more resilient to climate change. This will improve the climate impact of the project as well as its effects on local biodiversity. The removal of fences will reopen important wildlife corridors benefiting the local fauna. 

Source: Osotua Foundation

Restoring Livelihoods 

Applying regenerative farming techniques will kickstart the transition from a mismatch of recently introduced farming practices with a sedentary lifestyle to one of sustainable land use and income opportunities. The farming system will benefit from increased resilience to climatic shocks which will stabilize yields and Maasai’s income. It also supports the diversification of income. Osotua Foundation will facilitate the creation of local bio-organic value chains and has set up a connection with local lodges that are interested in sourcing the produce. Scaling up regenerative agroforestry will, thus, enable the beneficiaries to sell products such as vegetables, honey, as well as handmade cosmetics which will be made from indigenous plants.

Applying regenerative farming techniques will enhance food security, diversity, and nutrition not only for the beneficiareis and their families but also the surrounding communities. For example, avoiding pesticides will ensure a safer working environment. A large focus is placed on respecting and upholding the values of the Maasai supporting local culture and traditions and increasing ownership of the project. 

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