Current projects

Kipsaina Primary: Transformation to a Flagship Eco-School

The Primary Phase 1 Build is now complete

Consisting of two new build classrooms and a third renovated classroom, the project has transformed the education on offer at Kipsaina Primary School. Above is a short film with community reflections on the impact the build has had.

Kipsaina Primary School – Barnard Castle School visit August 2018

The refurbishment and expansion of classrooms at Kipsaina Primary School to make it a showcase for sustainable building (including rain-water harvesting), sustainable income generation and environmental education.

Collection and Shipping of School Text Books, Science equipment and Hand Tools

KEEP is sourcing and shipping educational equipment, including science and sports equipment, text books and digital facilities. In addition hand tools and manual sewing machines are being collected. Shipment is free through collaboration with a small commercial shipping company delivering UK secondhand tractors to Western Kenya.

Some of the educational materials and hand tools for shipment to Kipsaina

Future projects

Kipsaina Primary Dining Hall and Kitchen combined with Latrines with Biogas Collection

Our plan is to build biogas collecting latrines for the projected 500 pupils at Kipsaina Primary plus staff. Gas from the latrines will power the kitchens.

Design from Practical Action – potential project partners

Bore hole and Water Distribution System for Kipsaina Village

Water supply in Kipsaina (and most other rural Kenyan communities) is insecure and carries the risk of water born disease such as Diphtheria and potentially Cholera. Current provision is from springs protected with concrete culverts build by KCWCG. These culverts are located on the edge of the swamp and go some way towards the twin goals of disease prevention and disturbance of the wetlands. However, during wet season flooding the culverts can become polluted and to fetch water involves for some a walk of several kilometres with the steep climb back out of the swamp with full containers. This is seen as women and children’s work, although there are one or two professional water carriers using donkeys.

We have currently started fund-raising for a clean water bore hole in Kipsaina to provide metered dry season water for the schools and other institutions in the village, as well as well as a community wash house and shower facility.

Future Partnership Projects

Sports for Conservation

This is a project to tie together community sports and local conservation through development of a 400m running track with a central soccer field in the middle of Kipsaina village twinned with the completion of the wildlife trail along the wetland margin.

The photo below shows the land that has been offered for the construction of the track.

400m track site

Whilst the school infrastructure and water project are vital for the health of the community and their children, we are also looking to use the Kenyan passion for sports – and running in particular – to raise the profile of our environmental work through community “buy in”.

The land for the 400m track and sports field lies on one side of the two village schools and has been offered to KCWCG by the regional government on the basis of this conservation plan. On the other side of the Kipsaina schools lies the KCWCG Tree Nursery and the partially completed wildlife trail along the Kipsaina Wetland. If the community see a large benefit being provided, support for the conservation work and the surrender of (technically illegally farmed) land required to complete the wildlife trail will be far more likely.

The model for the sports side of the project is who have offered support.

Maurice has been developing the wildlife trail for several years and has undertaken extensive replanting of the river-side woodland with a large variety of indigenous trees. The trail passes alongside the vital wetland habitat which KCWCG has reclaimed from agricultural encroachment which is protected under the emerging Community Conserved Areas legislation. This land includes protected nesting sites for up to six pairs of Crowned Cranes and habitat for the rare aquatic antelope, Sitatunga, as well as a range of other wetland species. The trail takes in the KCWCG tree nursery, bee hives, experimental agroforestry with leguminous intercropping of fodder crops for dairy goat farming and tilapia ponds – all examples of the income generating projects KCWCG is promoting to encourage land-owners to pull out of their illegal encroachment of the wetlands. The trail needs a lot of work to be complete and will require delicate community negotiation from KCWCG to create a continuous band of buffer-zone forestry planting.

Associated Research Opportunities

  • Scoping for 400m running track and soccer field on land beside Kipsaina Primary and Secondary Schools.
  • Determining local sports opportunities, need and establishing potential for track-based athletics and training as a community development tool.
  • Researching potential international partnerships for sports developments. Investigating potential for fundraising (both local and international) from combined altitude sports facility in Kipsaina.
  • Scoping for completion of wildlife trail alongside Kipsaina Schools along the course of the Kipsaina wetland.
  • Investigating local tourism interest in visiting eco-tourism sites
  • Inventory of ethno-botanical knowledge
  • Ecology of reclaiming agriculturally encroached wetland and potential for carbon capture
  • REDD+ type opportunities
  • Community Conserved Areas – identification of potential sites across the Western region and scoping for development.
  • Scoping access and benefits sharing assessment for potential Community Conserved Areas

Cost of the Running for Conservation Track

We are currently investigating costs for the track, but this would be fundraised as a separate project to the school and water projects.

The organisation Run2gether are building a similar community 400m track near Naivasha see the following link to their project: The Running for Conservation track is likely to be similar in costs – in their case £65,000, although we would learn from their experience and hopefully avoid some of the construction pitfalls that increased their costs.

Events on the track would generate money for the environmental education programme and community conservation work of KCWCG.

Dispensary and Primary Health

KEEP and their partner are keen to establish high quality Primary Health Facilities within all the communities they work in. This is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 “Health and Well-being”, as well as addressing the pressure population growth has put on the environment.  By demonstrating human benefits to communities, this will generate goodwill, and community support for the environmental improvements that will follow. Primary health projects would include:-

  1. Building and supplying dispensaries that distribute genuine pharmaceuticals (rather than the counterfeit drugs sold by many)
  2. Building and staffing family planning clinics.
  3. Organising regular Optician led clinics to distribute Low cost / recycled / second-hand spectacles and supplying these clinics with appropriate high quality glasses.

Associated Research Opportunities

  • Research into establishing need for such facilities (basic initial survey work has been started)
  • Research into primary health support models based on digital communications (with a model being – who have offered their help)
  • Research into eye care needs and ways of providing this – currently KCWCG are holding irregular optician led eye clinics when ever they have enough donated glasses. Partnership with is being investigated.
  • Research into funding models for primary health facilities including means of funding the staffing of the facilities.