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The Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on sensitisation drives aimed at enlightening the Ogiek community on sustainable ways of adapting to climate change.

Phillip Owiti an apiculture officer with the ministry said the Ogieks need to be empowered with knowledge and skills in modern farming in order to survive in the changing environment.

“Climate change is everywhere and the Ogiek are not spared either.

“It is therefore important that they are enlightened to cope with it,” said Owiti in an interview with the Nation.

Change of biodiversity and rainfall patterns has not spared the traditional livelihoods of the Ogiek community inhabiting the environs of the Mau Forest complex.

The Ogieks mainly draw their livelihoods from bee keeping, producing volumes of honey to supplement their dietary needs from wild meat and fruits.

DESTRUCTION OF FOREST

However, the extensive destruction of the forest resulting to loss of the indigenous trees providing nectar for the bees and the drying of rivers that supported the trees has made their traditional methods of bee keeping impossible.

Mr Owiti said the traditional methods of bee keeping are no longer productive with the changing climate and habitat.

“Traditional bees are no longer as productive as they were before due to the unsuitable habitat,” he said.

He said they could expand their knowledge on bee keeping and enable them diversify into agri-business.

Mr Owiti said they will train them on adding value to honey, modern farming and marketing their produce, among other things.

The training will be regularly conducted with those living in Mariashoni and Nessuit wards being among the beneficiaries.

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Further, Nakuru’s department of environment is planning to educate them on the use of eco-friendly sources of energy in order to reduce the rate of deforestation within the forest complex.

County Director for Environment Timothy Kiogora said conserving the Mau Forest complex would be impossible without the involvement of the local communities

By: Daily Nation

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