The BamCraft Project
Targeting employment and income generation for poverty alleviation and sustainable development
Production and consumption of bamboo and bamboo products in Eastern Africa is very limited, and the value addition imparted by such limited processing as exists presently is minimal. There are many indigenous and traditional uses of bamboo in the region, but these are of low value addition and are usually for subsistence use by the producers. Approximately 80% of the population of Eastern Africa relies on agriculture activities to make a living, and poverty is rife. The project contributes to the reduction of poverty in rural, degraded and marginalized areas by turning bamboo -the ”poor man’s timber”- into a cash crop for wood substitution and for food processing creating rural and urban employment and value-addition to ultimately improve the economy of LDC’s.
The BamCraft project is designed to assist the Government of Kenya in its efforts to conserve forests, protect the environment, and achieve sustainable social and economic development. Training and production centers within substations of the Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI) will be set up to provide vocational skills to youths within the IDP camps on Bamboo crafts, furniture and bamboo based construction.
The specific objectives of the project are targeting employment and income generation for poverty alleviation and sustainable development through; Improving the technological and skills inputs in bamboo processing; Developing capacity for the sustainable supply of raw bamboo materials; and Improving technical, functional and aesthetic aspects of products to diversify into new markets.
Further information about the BamCraft Project is available here
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The immediate objective of the project is to provide vocational skills training on bamboo handicrafts and carpentry as a basis for alternate means of income and livelihood generation for IDPs evicted from Mau Forest Complex. The project will directly benefit a minimum of 300 people. Specifically the project will;
- Implement a Training of Trainers programme to build up the bamboo craftsman ship skills of at least 8 KEFRI staff members
- Conduct bamboo product design workshops to upgrade existing designs and develop new products to increase local market access
- Conduct training courses focusing on practical skills for handicrafts, furniture and low cost bamboo construction
- Provide trainees with carpentry tools
- Provide basic entrepreneurship training
- Set up training centers equipped with bamboo processing machines within substations of KEFRI
- Develop market linkages and sales channels for bamboo products