About the Impact Center

This center was was developed to provide ECHO services to help those in East Africa who work with the poor more effectively, especially in the area of ​​agriculture and alternative methods. ECHO East Africa works as a basic training center giving technical assistance to help organizations and community development workers to work more effectively to reduce hunger.



Services

  • Conduct research and development on locally appropriate sustainable agriculture practices
  • Collaborate with, and provide networking opportunities for, development agencies working in East Africa
  • Provide garden displays and demonstrations of agricultural options
  • Provide agricultural resources for study
  • Demonstrate alternative training methods, including creative collaboration and exhibitions
  • The ECHO seed bank provides packaged seeds, as well as seed exchange opportunities and seed conservation education.
  • Training for home gardens (organic gardens, kitchen gardens, gardens, bags and manufacture of peat)
  • Training and visits to fruit tree nurseries
  • Organization of conferences, workshops, forums, exchange visits, and training in best practices
  • Network between farmers and other development partners
  • Conduct agricultural fairs
 

Contact:

Erwin Kinsey

ECHO East Africa Impact Center
P O Box 15205
Arusha Tanzania

eastafrica@echonet.org

 

East Africa Updates

New & Notable: Sustained rangeland improvement with special reference to the Laikipia controversies 2018-04-05

By Chris Field, PhD
Consultant in ASALs and Wildlife

Excerpt: I have spent over fifty years working in East African Rangelands studying wildlife in National Parks and ranches or helping pastoralists in northern Kenya and consulting in Tanzania. The situation has changed unpredictably and dramatically since my original research in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda. The main change has been rapid and near exponential human population growth with accompanying degradation of the rangelands especially those classified as ASALs (Arid or Semi-Arid Lands). It is not unique to the Greater Horn of Africa, but an example of what has been happening in most countries in Sahelian Africa. A world’s leading expert on deserts concluded over 25 years ago that “all the areas between the 100mm and 300mm isohyets will become man-made deserts in the next 35-70 years if the present trend is not reversed!” (Le Houerou,1991).  Further exacerbating the effects of unchecked population growth is that of global warming, where pastoralists are the victims of the rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels by the world’s increased human population.

From my experience, the last great drought in the Horn of Africa was in 1984 which, together with political mismanagement, led to the deaths of uncounted numbers of our neighbors in Ethiopia (Kaplan, 2003). This was before the impact of global warming was felt, indicating that drought is a cyclical phenomenon which is best countered by concerted action against all the possible causes. Indeed, for some time drought has been regarded as a way of life by many pastoralists.

The results of ten years of research and experimentation on desert encroachment by ten experts and 30 consultants were summarized thirty five years ago in a comprehensive Management Plan for Western Marsabit District (Slide1) (UNESCO/IPAL, 1983, Field, 1986). Regrettably, the Project never entered the practical management phase after it was handed over to the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), now the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). Neither has undertaken serious rangeland management, as outlined by the IPAL, and they appear to prefer degree driven research rather than demand driven management.

Meanwhile, serious controversies have been smoldering in the Laikipia rangelands of Kenya since 2013 and the current drought has brought them to a critical climax.  Reflection on the problem, its causes and possible solutions, is appropriate in the light of past experiences.

Read the Full Article

About East Africa

Food insecurity has increased significantly in East Africa due to the rapid increase in population, with an increase of 150% by 2050. Over 40% of children in East Africa are malnourished. The largest number of these children are orphaned and living in difficult circumstances. Most of the rural population lives in poverty, relying on a subsistence lifestyle. Some of the reasons for this situation include:

  • A High rate of loss of yield
  • Underdeveloped, weak markets, farmers lack the infrastructure to improve thier value chains
  • Minority farmers and herdsmen in the region, don't have adequate access to agricultural services, continuing education or access to formal training
  • Increased pressure forcing families to cultivate a little land, which results in land degradation and loss of sustainability in food production
  • Drought, especially in arid pastoralist areas.
  • Deforestation
  • Flooding
  • Climate

Where we are located

Drive to the North West 8 km from Arusha to Nairobi, after Ngaramtoni, University of Mount Meru, the camp two Chinese road, and after a huge hit on the left. Turn right at the sign of a large tablet of ECHO green / garden trees specific information and follow the dirt road a distance of 200 meters, passing a concrete wall on the left. Once the wall, turn left through the iron gate (there are small signs here of the garden) and forward through a tree nursery and office ECHO which has marked. If you come to via public transportation, bus riding from town to ngaramtoni; then another bus from ngaramtoni climbed up Radio News Special. Guards and staff will be happy to give you directions to the front door of the ECHO office in East Africa.