Environmental Education

Assets Second camp

The assets second camp was on from 28th of August and ended yesterday 30th August.It was a three day camp with alot of activities just like the first camp.The students who are first year beneficiaries got to learn about the environment and conservation.A total of 20 students and a teacher and a parent were in this camp. The first day the students were taken to the Mwamba nature trail where they learnt more about tree species and the general biodiversity of the mwanba little forest.

Thereafter there was an introduction part and this second camp was lucky to have two Assets university graduates who gave alot of encouragement to the students.

Later that day there was a talk on education and discipline by one of the Assets committee members(Mr Julius Mwawiswa).Mr Mwawiswa talked and quoted verses from the bible to give emphasis on his talk.Again the students were lucky to get a talk fromMr Rafael Magambo, the National director of A Rocha Kenya.Mr Rafael gave them sound advice on being morally upright and conservation.














It was time for games and two groups were formed,SIMBA(lion) and NYATI(buffalo).The first game was filling an empty bottle with water using hands from one member to the last.This was by giving water using the hands, then to the other member the same way until the last member who takes the water in the botlle. Nyati emerged the winners.It was then football where we had a great encounter and simba won 1-0.

In the evening the students watched a movie (finding nemo) before they went to bed.

Day two of the camp saw the students going for snorkelling after the morning glory and a powerpoint presentation from Benjo.Snorkelling  was a great experience for the students whose majority had not been in water.Mr Robert Sluka and Benjamin cowburn who are the marine biologists at mwamba led the students on this wonderful part of marine life.Students were able to see corals and different types of fish.

After snorkelling Mr Stanley gave a powerpoint presentation on drugs and HIV Aids.We later went to the Watamu turtle watch(WTW) where the students learnt alot  about turtles. We later went to games.After a tough match which ended on a 1-1 draw we went to penalties.Nine penalties were taken from both sides and Simba won 2-1.In the evening we had a session of bible study and a session of quiz in which simba won, before they went to bed

After a bird ringing session led by the director of conservation and reserch,A Rocha Kenya, Mr Collin Jackson, the last day was full of movements.The students were taken to the two eco-facilities where the bursaries come from.Mida creek was the first place they visited and were happy to learn the various species of mangroove.They were very amazed by the different species and their long biological names .They went on to climb the boardwalk. Few of them were very afraid of its shaky nature but got encouraged by their fellow students.

The second movement was visiting the Gede ruins tree platform. Here the students had a lot of fun on the platform after a tour of the ruins.

The students returned to mwamba for lunch.After lunch we had a recap of the camp and a short final quiz. The points were calculated and Simba became the overal winnere with 23.5 points and Nyati had 23 points.Prizes were awarded to the winning group.The losing group also got consolation prizes.The teacher and the parent who attended the camp were also awarded prizes. The camp ended with a prayer from one of the students and then they were shown a slideshow of all the photos taken during their stay.At 3:20 the students left mwamba.

Appeal regarding forth-coming Summer Camps

Environmental Education Officer, A Rocha Kenya June and July are supposed to the coldest months at the coast of Kenya, equivalent to winter in temperate zones. Indeed it is quite cold at the moment, about 24° Celsius. I guess we are experiencing our share of the effects of climate change to which we have though in small ways contributed to. Climate change is one of the topics to be discussed by the ASSETS beneficiaries during the upcoming camps. On the 3rd and 4th of August 20 local children will be gathering at Mwamba Field Study Centre to participate in environmental education activities. Among the activities planned is a snorkeling trip to the Watamu Marine National Park, Bioken Snake Farm and Kipepeo butterfly project.

A similar event will hopefully be organised later in August if funding for the same is acquired. We have so far received a donation to cover the cost of the first camp. The cost per student is estimated to Ksh. 4000.00 (£29.00).

By sponsoring a student to the camp, you are giving them a life-time opportunity to interact with, explore and learn ways of  utilising the environment without destroying it.

Environmental Education, trees and volleyball

The Environmental Education team took a bigger group with them this time to Mijomboni Primary School. The group involved students on a trip organized by the Minnesota Zoo, USA. Melanie a staff at the Minnesota Zoo accompanied them to this trip. The students are interested in nature conservation and some of them study related courses at the university. The rest of them have not joined the university but have an interest in nature.

The students and pupils listening keenly

The pupils at the school received us warmly as we gathered into one of the classes. This time they bombarded us with questions concerning the sustainable use of natural resources like the forest. This could tell that they are very active in conservation efforts. They were keen to learn how they will convince their parents on sustainable use of forests and water sources like rivers.

The tree planting

Each of the students together with the local pupils got a chance to plant an indigenous tree in the school compound. Later on they played volleyball in the school field together with the pupils and donated some stationery to the school.

The volleyball match

Naomi Wanjiru Gichungu- Environmental Education intern

Environmental Education at Kahingoni Primary School

School visits for Environmental Education have picked up very well, and this time the staff and volunteers of A Rocha Kenya were in Kahingoni Primary School. As usual the pupils were excited. They assembled in one class where we had our lesson which later on led to a very lively discussion. The lesson touched on the importance of conserving the forest and the endangered animals like the Golden-rumped sengi (elephant shrew), whose habitat is the Arabuko Sokoke Forest. pupils answering questions during the lesson

Pupils anwering questions during the lesson

A Rocha Kenya also donated some tree seedlings to the Wildlife Club of Kenya members in that school. The tree seedlings were of the Bombax rhodognaphalon (East African Bombax) commonly known as 'msufi mwitu' in Swahili and Balanites wilsoniana commonly known as 'mkonga' in Giriama which is the local language here. The trees were planted after the lesson by the pupils.They promised to take care of them by putting a small fence around each of them and watering them.

Mapenzi, a pupil planting one of the tree seedlings

Mapenzi, a pupil planting one of the tree seedlings

We hope to get more funds to continue sustaining our program which involves a lot of traveling. Our goal is to educate all the schools surrounding the forest on the importance of conserving it since it is an important biodiversity area.

Naomi Wanjiru Gichungu- Environmental Education intern

Environmental Education visit to Girimache Primary School

Due to the many staff changes in the last six months, the Environmental Education programme at A Rocha Kenya had stagnated for some time. We are glad it has been possible to revive it with a new program of school visits! The 7th of June marked our first visit to a primary school near the Arabuko Sokoke forest. The journey took us almost one and a half hours to Girimache Primary School where we found the students preparing to get in to the hall where we were meeting. On board was Nathaniel, one of the volunteers from France, Naomi, a student attached in the Environmental Education programme from Kenyatta University, and Stanley the Environmental Education officer at A Rocha Kenya.


The students were eager to hear what we had to teach them and surprisingly they loved it. They enjoyed answering questions and asked for clarification where they did not understand. It was really satisfying to see how the pupils were passionate about the environment. The students seemed to have had some environmental education as a component of their schooling already. We had a discussion on how each one of us contributes to the degradation of the environment, including the Arabuko Sokoke forest that neighbours the school. The days’ success was marked by the promise that the students will do their best in taking care of the environment, and they will be involved in educating other students and their parents on the importance of conserving the environment.


The first nine schools that will be visited for Environmental Education, including Girimache, are schools with ASSETS students enrolled. For students from this area, understanding why conservation of the environment is important is crucial to the preservation of the unique ecosystems of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, and only by educating the young will there be a change in the way the forest is used be achieved in the future.


Naomi Wanjiru Gichungu- Environmental Education intern