A field station
in the Maasai Steppe

The following page provides a summary of the main cooperation projects, training and research activities implemented by Istituto Oikos and its local partners in the Meru-Kilimanjaro ecosystem. These experiences are at the roots of the Mkuru Training Camp establishment and guided its development.

Training Courses for Local Communities

Oikos has always put a great concern on education, vocational training and awareness raising as key tools to build environmental, cultural and social sustainability with local communities. The courses implemented at Mkuru Training Camp are listed below.

  • Topic1: Appropriate bee keeping technology for farmers
  • Target: 40 participants, 2 women
  • Topic2: Bee products processing and marketing
  • Target: 37 participants, 4 women
  • Topic1: Appropriate Poultry Production
  • Target: 50 participants, 40 women
  • Topic2: Poultry Feed Formulation and Compounding
  • Target: 67 participants, 52 women
  • Topic3: Poultry Disease Control and Hatchery Management
  • Target: 23 participants, 2 women
  • Topic: Anthropometric Measurements
  • Target: 52 participants, 16 women
  • Topic: Nutrition and role of nutrition for school children
  • Target: 37 participants, 18 women
  • Topic: Gardening, seed selection, vegetable nursery management and Drip irrigation for Primary Schools
  • Target: 44 participants, 11 women
  • Topic: Drip Irrigation to school Teachers and Parents
  • Target: 60 participants, 39 women
  • Topic: Fighting malnutrition through Good Eating Practices and Nutrition
  • Target: 73 participants, 32 women
  • Topic: Fighting malnutrition through Vegetable gardening
  • Target: 41 participants, 15 women
  • Topic: Constitution formation training to water users
  • Target: 68 participants, 11 women
  • Topic: Water Management and Leadership
  • Target: 37 participants, 1 women
  • Topic: how to build energy saving stoves (namely Jiko Janja), wonder basket stoves, cement stoves and water jars
  • Target: 200 women of 15 cooperatives
  • Topic: basics of information technology, computer hardware and software, management and creation of documents and spreadsheets, internet
  • Target: 17 people among Mkuru Training Camp staff, CERC managers, Energy Committee members, and selected school teachers
  • Topic: basics of information technology, computer hardware and software, management and creation of documents and spreadsheets, internet
  • Target: 29 primary school teachers
  • Topic: forestry and nursery management, Jatropha agronomy, seed chain and oil-related products (such as soap)production
  • Target: 20 among Energy Committee members, women cooperative representatives and selected farmers
  • Topic: forestry and nursery management, nursery preparation, agronomy of seedlings, seeds collection, nursery keeping, soil management, energy use of biomass and importance of energy efficiency
  • Target: 13 members of Energy Committee, 7 teachers, 2 students, 16 villagers
  • Topic: installation of Photovoltaic systems, theory and practical sessions
  • Target: 12 local technicians
  • Topic: construction of energy efficient stoves, theory and practical sessions
  • Target: 6 local technicians
  • Topic: food conservation and security techniques, how to make and use solar energy vegetable driers, energy saving stoves, general business management techniques, marketing and record keeping
  • Target: 66 women
  • Topic: group dynamics, cooperation and group management, leadership skills, constitution writing
  • Target: 66 women
  • Topic: energy needs and energy requirements in the area, introduction of main technology options and strategy for selecting the most appropriate
  • Target: final beneficiaries, members of Energy Committees, local Government and District representatives
  • Topic: Renewable energies, management of the CERC
  • Target: 12 Energy Committee members, 4 women groups representatives, 4 artisans
Courses addressed to make local livestock keepers capable to care and manage livestock through simple diagnosis, treatment and preventive approaches aimed at reducing poor animal health delivery services and inadequate supply of drugs
  • Topics:  care and management of animals through simple diagnosis, treatment and preventive approaches.
  • Target: 17 operators belonging to either Maasai or Meru ethnic groups.
  • Description: a 4 weeks training was a good start as an entry point to build up a reservoir of new skills and knowledge on good animal husbandry practices and preventive approaches in the community that provides opportunity for sharing and further extending knowledge through farmer to farmer extension (existing) system. Current needs:  Refreshment courses for CAHWs,; seasonal vaccination campaign in the villages;  assistance for trained CAHWs to establish an association that provides animal health delivery services.
Courses addressed to make the Mkuru women capable to establish and manage a cooperative  of traditional bead jewellery production.  
  • Topics: basic education (literacy, arithmetic, English, Swahili), jewellery production, , business management, HIV awareness
  • Target: 156 women of Mkuru subvillage
  • Description: 156 Maasai women trained for the creation of a cooperative of traditional jewellery production.
  • Current needs: on-going training on basic literacy skill, refreshment trainings on small business management and leadership, new trainings on jewellery production for involving more women.
Courses to make village guides capable to manage small initiatives of community based tourism. The Mkuru Camel Safari Group was specifically trained to manage Mkuru Camel safari.
  • Topics: English, principles of ecology, tour guiding, relations with tourism, customer satisfaction, first aid
  • Target: 25 guides of 8 local cultural tourism programs.
  • Description: 53-days of training for 25 guides working in cultural tourism programs in the Mount Meru area, already certified by the Tanzanian Cultural Tourism Program, including Mkuru Camel Safari, Mulala Women Group, Osotwa Community Based Conservation Organization Ilkidinga Cultural Tourism Program.
  • Current needs: improvement of  marketing and networking skills of the managers of cultural tourism programs.
Courses planned to strengthen the local communities who are voluntary working with the village governments on the conservation and protection of Natural resources in the area.
  • Topic: wildlife monitoring and patrolling, safety, handling of fire arms,  physical training; visit to Tarangire National Park.
  • Target: 22 village game scouts from the Mount Meru Area
  • Description: 6 weeks training to build the VGS capacity on the monitoring and protection of the resources, awareness raising and strategies for patrolling and protection of resources to contrast poaching, charcoal burning, bush fires, water pollution, catastrophic events e.g. fire outbreak.
  • Current needs: Refreshment courses for VGS
  • Topic: Kiswahili speaking, reading and writing, elementary English and arithmetic
  • Target: 300 villagers