Friends of Kinangop Plateau

Friends of Kinangop Plateau (FOKP) is the Site Support Group working with Nature Kenya for the conservation of the Kinangop Plateau and Highland Grasslands.

 

These grasslands on either side of the Rift Valley provide a unique habitat for the globally threatened Sharpe’s Longclaw.

The grasslands are also home to other bird species such as the Jackson’s Widowbird, the Long-tailed Widowbird, the Black-winged Plover and the Wing-Snapping Cisticola.


FOKP was founded in 1996 but officially registered in 1997 as a self-help group. FOKP work to conserve and encourage wise use of the unique grasslands. Membership has since grown tremendously to include three other branches in Engineer, Njabini and Magumu areas. Murungaru is the mother-branch. Recently,  FOKP was upgraded to the status of Community Based Organization (CBO).    

Members include; farmers, teachers, business people, pupils, students, affiliate groups like women groups among others.

The group has an office at Sharpe’s Longclaw Nature reserve in Murungaru. Friends of Kinangop and Nature Kenya manage the reserves to promote suitable habitats for the Sharpe’s Longclaw. These reserves are now confirmed breeding sites for the birds and demonstrate viable, sustainable and economically sound eco-friendly land use to the landowners.

These unique grasslands are under threat from cultivation and over-grazing and Nature Kenya is committed to:

  • Establishing a Nature Reserve for the unique biota
  • Developing and promoting eco-tourism (birding) in the area (campsite and bandas at the reserve now exist)
  • Building institutional and entrepreneurial capacity for the local Site Support Group Establishment of educational Eco Resource Centre

To curb the menace that this unique habitat is faced with and to raise awareness on the importance of conservation, FOKP is involved in:

  • Biodiversity research through survey and monitoring of grassland birds.
  • Beekeeping and honey production
  • Wool-spinning and making wool products.
  • Environmental education
  • Demonstration of organic farming
  • HIV/AIDS awareness
  • Eco-tourism
  • Kikuyu traditional dances
  • Bird walks
  • Environmental film shows at the resource centre.
  • Collection of art and artifacts

So far, FOKP has achieved the following:

  • Strong partnerships with Nature Kenya and other conservation partners.
  • FOKP has membership across the entire plateau.
  • FOKP has over the years been recognized by the Government in various forums.
  • Biodiversity monitoring done in wet and dry seasons
  • Various people has donated their equipment to the group
  • Members have received various training on conservation and sustainable agriculture.
  • Locally managed nature reserves in Kinangop
  • Hosted the Central province provincial Administration
  • Ongoing sustainable and environmental friendly projects within the plateau.
  • Organised and participated in world environment days since inception.
  • FOKP is now hosted by 10000 birds website. http://10000birds.com/FOKP