“My life has changed so much”

August 17, 2018

Nixon Onyimbo works for icipe, the international insect research institute in Nairobi, Kenya and is currently working in his local community to implement a project run jointly by Biovision, icipe and others to protect biodiversity  Through his work, he is helping to change the lives of both rural smallholders and those living in his home village in Samia in Western Kenya.

Daria Lehmann, Intern Development and Cooperation

The road is so soggy that the car feels more like a ship ploughing through rough seas. Nixon Onyimbo, however, seems quite untroubled by this. He is used to it from many previous field visits and can change seamlessly from driver to skipper. The 42-year old has been with icipe for many years. “During my work with icipe and Biovision, I have learned that plants interact and so can control pests,” he explains enthusiastically. “It was not until I joined icipe that I started to understand that we derive a benefit from the environment and so we should protect it”. In recent years, Nixon Onyimbo has achieved a great deal on his own farm: He now uses solar energy instead of kerosene lamps; he has planted thousands of trees and intends to introduce the Push-Pull technology on his son’s maize field. “My life has changed so much,” says Nixon.

Combining nature conservation and malaria control

In addition to the work on his own farm, Nixon is also one of the founders of Samia Ecosystems Conservation CBO – a community-based organisation that seeks to protect the Samia marshes and grassland. “Deforestation is causing an increase in water temperatures in the Samia wetlands. As a result, the area is now a hotspot for the fly larvae that can transmit malaria,” explains Nixon. “One of the ways in which we are trying to reduce temperatures is to work with neighbouring communities to plant trees”. Schoolchildren also take part in the activities of the Samia Ecosystems Conservation CBO as this teaches the children the importance of ecosystems. In cooperation with other partners, the organisation is training youngsters in sustainable agriculture. As Nixon himself says: “Sustainable agriculture will allow us to enjoy a healthy and secure life”.

Other links:

Profile of the Week - Nixon Onyimbo (Blog by Daria Lehmann, only available in German)

)) The Push-Pull technology that Nixon Onyimbo plans to introduce on his son’s maize field.
Godfrey Juma, coordinator at Samia Ecosystems Conservation CBO teaches children how to protect the soil.