Permafund news from Laikipia Permaculture Centre

PRI Kenya Joseph LentunyoiLaikipia Permaculture Centre, home to PRI Kenya, sent us some updates on the work they recently carried out. They received a $1000 grant from Permafund in 2012 to help with the centre’s establishment.

Soil degradation is a major problem in this region due to extensive deforestation (as shown on this picture where Joseph Lentunyoi, founder of Laikipia Permaculture Centre, is standing beside a degraded heap of soil 100m from Laikipia Permaculture Centre).

The main priority for the Centre is therefore to re-establish forest cover and train people on propagating indigenous trees and growing food. More updates can be found on their website:

Here are Joseph’s words.

January 2013

It has been both an enjoyable/overwhelming and challenging activity and work for Wilson Lokwayen (our PDC Graduate and Manager for LAIKIPIA PERMACULTURE CENTRE). In January 2013, we started sowing tree seeds in our community nursery, thanks to funding from Permafund. Interestingly some young men and women from the community joined us to help with this new work. January was quite busy here in the Community tree nursery as the seeds are put in the ground for the first time ever in a community not used to working with soils. For them it was simply making their hands dirty jokingly, but for me it was serious business as I am used doing it.

Many questions were being asked as we continued propagating/sowing the seeds, regarding what we were doing!

How long will the seeds take to germinate?

Will we need the rain to come for them to grow?

Can we all help Wilson water the trees manually?

Then after 4 weeks of waiting, here are the results and answers to our questions.

PRI Kenya seedlings

Just a few potted seedlings - hundreds are still growing in the ground beds.

PRI Kenya seedlings2

Photo above is a tree species called Croton Megalocarpus. One of the most successful tree herb species from our community tree nursery.








February 2013

I am writing this report on a rainy Kenya day, meaning big plus to farmers. At Laikipia Permaculture Centre we have ready seedlings to be planted this season, this is one of the success stories out of our November 2012 training here, putting all of us on hope that our dream is truly coming to reality. We have approximately 2000 tree seedlings ready and a lot more growing in seed beds.

Pictures of successful tree seedlings that include croton, moringa and Acacia species

Pictures of successful tree seedlings that include croton, moringa and Acacia species

Tree seed beds being watered for germination.

Tree seed beds being watered for germination.






Women and Children take most of their time getting water here, a scarce resource indeed.

Women and Children take most of their time getting water here, a scarce resource indeed.

PRI Kenya 6

We get our irrigation water manually from a nearby creek, the Community is happy to help with this. We hope to dig one shallow well of approximately 10 metres deep to get reliable source of water. The Budget for one shallow well with a water pump is 1500 Dollars.





  1. John McKenzie

    Thankyou Alexia for posting that, is very interesting to read, Croton Megalocarpus – an interesting tree – fast growing pioneer, but hard timber and termite resistant. Coppicing and good for living fence, ..
    Access to water seems a significant issue, people spending hours each day collecting water, what we take for granted when we turn on a tap…
    cheers JM

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