- Locations: Sagalla Hill (Taita Hills - Eastern Arc Mountains), Kenya
- Active dates: 2011 - ongoing
To protect and expand remnant natural habitat across Sagalla Hill for the area’s threatened biodiversity and local communities, stop further environmental destruction and degradation and improve/enhance natural resource management. To reconnect poverty alleviation to biodiversity conservation in Kenya’s Eastern Arc Mountains
Despite its close resemblance to an earth worm, the Sagalla caecilian is actually a limbless amphibian. It spends most of its life below ground and is adapted for a burrowing lifestyle – its eyes are covered by a protective skin, it has a strong, bony skull for pushing through the soil, and possesses sensory tentacles either side of its head to detect the chemical signals from its prey. The Sagalla caecilian is only found in one small area in the south-east of Kenya – Sagalla Hill – which is around half the size of Manhattan Island. Poor rainfall seasons continue to pose a major challenge to the biodiversity and the local people of this area, and have an impact on many things including tree planting.
Removing Eucalyptus plantations and replacing them with native vegetation to stabilise the soil and prevent further erosion and desiccation
Developing sustainable livelihoods (e.g. fish farming schemes) to provide an income to local farmers as an alternative to draining wetlands and riverine valleys
Improving farming techniques to increase soil fertility and decrease soil erosion
Restoring vegetation along stream banks and on steep slopes in order to minimise erosion and loss of important soil habitat
Providing technical support visits to farmers, training bee-keeping and also training farmers to graft avocado seedlings.
Establish a support network and training in sustainable livelihoods
Training and supporting women’s groups in handicraft manufacture and marketing.
Create Community Forest Associations (CFAs) and Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) and locally led community groups.
Train community members, students and advisers in biodiversity conservation
Implement CEPA strategy
Implement the species action plans developed for the three Taita endemic species
TTWF nursery established along with 7 other community based nurseries
Over 12,000 trees have been planted on Sagalla Hill by community groups
Training of 54 fish farmers took place in February-May 2011 and four subsequent farms constructed
Training of 22 farmers in appropriate farming techniques for soil and water conservation in February 2011
Ongoing awareness campaigns in local communities and schools
Farmer-to-farmer training took place in Taita where Tekida Bee-keepers group trained the Iyale Angamiza Jangwa Group on bee-keeping
The Mlilo Handicrafts groups were supplied with equipment and materials and have commenced production of various handicrafts, among them baskets, open shoes and other items.
15 community members (3 each from Ngangao, Fururu, Vuria, Iyale and Chawia forests) trained in biodiversity monitoring and materials/tools/equipment required for the same
Several CEPA strategy activities have already been implemented including the participation of Project Officers in public meetings organised by community Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs to create awareness on environmental conservation and on the project activities
Preliminary implementation of the Species Action Plans (SAPs) developed for the three Taita endemics (Taita Thrush, Taita Apalis and Sagalla Caecilian) is under way.
To date 283,519 indigenous tree seedlings have been planted with 42,093 tree seedlings in Nov/Dec 2016 season (Taita – 30,093 and Sagalla 12,000).
Collaborators and Supporters
BBC Wildlife fund
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
IUCN Save Our Species
Arizona State University
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