John Bii, chairman of the Upper Kipsonoi Water Resource Users Association, talks to members of one of the affiliate groups about the importance family planning.

Community mobilization increases demand for services and adoption of healthy practices

published on Thursday 15th of October 2020 09:51:03 AM
David Koech with a fellow conservation group member.

John Bii, chairman of the Upper Kipsonoi Water Resource Users Association, talks to members of one of the affiliate groups about the importance family planning.

“Most families here live on five acres and there appears to be enough land for everyone ... but the population  is increasing and in five to 10 years, the area will be overpopulated.”

These are the words of David Koech, a retired  army worker who leads the Kapnanda Development  Greenbelt  Group in Tinet, Kuresoi South, Nakuru County. Kapnanda is one of several groups that make up the   Upper Kipsonoi Water Resource Users Association, or WRUA.

After three decades of army service, David runs his private businesses including a primary school. But he also finds time to participate  in community  affairs.   Besides chairing  the environmental group, David is a member of the management team of the local dispensary. Kapnanda group is well known for its conservation  work  in Kuresoi.  The group encourages the community  members to plant trees on their farms on the fringes of the Mau Forest, the source of some of Kenya’s biggest rivers.

For  the  past  three   years,  Kapnanda  and  other   groups that belong to the Upper Kipsonoi Water Resource Users’ Association  have combined  their  community  conservation work  with  health  education  after training by USAID’s Afya Uzazi program  in a partnership  with  the county, the Kenya Forestry  Service and other local partners.

“Afya Uzazi has helped us to educate the people, especially about the importance of family planning,” says David.

The groups encourage a holistic approach to family wellbeing that entails  caring  for the  environment they  live  in  and improving   people’s  access to health  services.  For  several years, their  members  have been involved  in environmental conservation. They have two nurseries that supply seedlings for their  tree-planting campaigns. Three years ago, the association partnered  with  Afya Uzazi to incorporate health promotion in their activities. Through the partnership, the project  trained group members to provide health education to the community.

Today, all the groups in the association have integrated health campaigns into their environmental conservation  efforts. “During group meetings, community health workers are given an opportunity to lead discussions on how  to improve  the health of families, including encouraging  couples to take up family planning for healthy spacing of children.

 

Kipsonoi WRUA member Daisy Ngetich 

 

Members of the water resources users association

 

Mzee Samson Rono, a group member

 

Ruth Koech CHV and herbal medicine expert explains transition to modern family planning

 

Ruth Koech CHV and herbal medicine expert with CHV bag

 

The Kipsonoi community is preserving areas with the natural vegetation

 

Water resource users association chairman Bii Kapsonoi points to former forest land now cleared for farming and other uses

 

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