BASED MANAGEMENT – THE EXAMPLE OF KAJIADO DISTRICT.
District like most areas in Kenya does not have a long history of collaborative
management involving linkages between government and community institutions. The
Cross-Borders Biodiversity Project is among the few projects involving the joint
participation of district-based agency staff and the communities in project
planning and implementation.
to a set of unavoidable circumstances the Kenya project component did not have
funds for a long period of time in 1999 to 2000 (see
separate note on the Kenya Issue). In
Kajiado District, this time of seeming hopelessness was spent in building a
strong local district team, by conducting regular visits and consultations to
develop a common vision.
Objective A of the project states: Create
an enabling environment that allows local sectoral and development agencies as
well as local communities to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity
resources. The outputs envisioned under this objective are:
A1 Agencies at local level promote the sustainable use of biodiversity.
A2 Local communities participate fully in resource conservation at key sites.
staff set about building site based management teams, and equipping them with
skills to run the project and eventually implement it. Using the structures laid
down in the project document, three levels of committees were built:
District Project Steering Committee (DPSC),
District Core Team,
Site Planning Committee.
Committee comprises various central Government Departments with conservation
linkages, NGO representation, Members of Parliament, and Local Government. It is
chaired by the District Commissioner. It
has been extremely important for the Project to foster linkages with members of
this committee to enlist support for the project in the District.
As said earlier, time was not an issue; the project staff spent a lot of
time explaining the objectives of the project to Committee members both
individually and in different district meetings such as the District Development
meetings, District Environment meetings etc.
Members requested site visits, these were undertaken in November of 1999
with funds advanced from the Regional Component. The District Commissioner, led
the team and scaled the heights of the Ol Doinyo Orok Mountains which are the
focus of the project in the District. This
was seen as overwhelming support for and acceptance of the project.
continuous and constant consultation with the office of the DC has ensured the
smooth running of the project. When the District Core Team traveled to Tanzania
for cross-border meetings, many of them had no passports but the District
Commissioner was able to write for them a letter that enabled them to
participate in the meetings. Again
this is because he was part of the project and fully identified with it. A
recent cross-border meeting at Namanga in Kenya was hosted successfully by the
District Project Steering Committee (DPSC) is large, consisting of 22 people.
It was therefore considered to be too broad and inappropriate for the
day-to-day running of project activities. A
team of nine heads of department and an NGO was drawn from the DPSC and has been
deeply involved in driving project work. The
team consisted of:
District Forestry Officer
District Environment Conservation Officer
District Livestock Production Officer
District Social Development Officer
The Manager, Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG)
The Game Warden (KWS)
District Development Officer
officers were trained in various principles to ensure a common vision or
understanding of the project and its objectives.
Using a series of meetings in the boardroom of a sister project, project
staff trained the team on the ICDP concept, site-planning process, the
objectives of the project etc. This
training had to be repeated several times because of the disruption in the flow
of project funds. This has now
however proved to be advantageous as the team is confident and has gained a full
understanding of the projects design and intent.
sub set of the District Core Team is the Divisional Team.
This team comprises of the same departments as the core team and operates
at the lower divisional levels near the forest site.
They have been working with the project since its inception in 1998.
The core team under the supervision of project staff, trained the
Divisional group. Training others
helped build the confidence of the core team even more and also imparted a
better understanding of the project.
divisional team worked on the ground truthing exercises and various situational
analysis missions under the guidance of the District Team.
The Team has been particularly useful in the site planning process as
they live with the local people and interact with them daily.
They therefore have the inner information and have the added advantage of
speaking the local language, Maa. The
project has immensely benefited from their community mobilization skills.
All the community meetings (barazas) were organised through the
involvement of team; the meetings were well attended despite the fact that the
period 1999 – 2000 was a drought period.
divisional team was instrumental in the formation of the Community Environmental
Committees, which carried out the Site Planning processes.
Site Planning Committees work at village level around the sites, involve
governmental and non-governmental agencies and representatives of local
beneficiary communities. They have
been used for the participatory consultative site planning process. These
committees have made it possible to attain self-determination in the planning
process. Representatives to this committee were chosen democratically by the
communities and the communities have a say in the activities undertaken by the
project. Representation from the communities has taken into account gender, age
has been built on both sides. Project
staff are fully accepted and trusted by the District teams and vise versa.
One example of a situation depicting this mutual trust is the
continuation of ground truthing exercises and situation analysis in April–May
2000 when the field Project Officer was away in Thailand for training.
The work continued smoothly. This
trust has again been witnessed in the months of November, December 2000,
January, February 2001, during which the team has again been working without the
Field Project Officer. (The FPO Kajiado, who was instrumental in building
initial trust - resigned to join IUCN in November 2000).
to the economic situation in the country, most government departments have not
had funds to operate. This has
turned out to be a bonus for the project. Members
of the core team have had enough time to throw themselves to project work and
have become part of the cross border family. Again because of lack of funds in
departments, the project has had, from time to time, to assist with transport
and other operational facilities like stationery and photocopying.
This has certainly helped to build team spirit and togetherness among the
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