The Tweed-Kenya Mentoring Program (TKMP) commenced in 2003 and has evolved into a dynamic partnership built on transferring technical and cultural knowledge between Australian and Kenyan individuals and communities. TKMP’s urban projects work with youths and community groups within the informal settlements of Nairobi to improve the environment and rehabilitate the Nairobi River. Emerging out of the urban activities are: a youth network of over 100 clubs called Youth-Community Led Environmental Action Network (YCLEAN); six primary schools with indigenous tree gardens; catchment re-vegetation and riparian care –where more than 10000 seedlings have been planted since 2008; and an annual environmental advocacy soccer tournament called the Great Nairobi River Tournament.
In rural Kenya, TKMP’s SafeWater Program commenced in 2007 with the installation of ‘Sky Juice’ water filtration systems to improve water access in rural areas. Increasing access to safe water in rural Kenyan communities has increased community health by reducing exposure to diseases such as typhoid and cholera, as well as reducing the time taken to collect clean water. In September, Mr David Mango, Safewater Manager, visited the Tweed community to learn more about river and water management and the implementation of community based conservation projects. Mr Mango also attended in the International Riversymposium, networking with other practitioners and learning more about river management from Australian and international participants. Safewater will be delivered in the Siaya District, Western Kenya by Tweed Shire Staff member Nigel Dobson in early 2012.