On Mfangano Island in Kenya, farmers and environmentalists are coming together to help fight deforestation, which is threatening the land and livelihood of the largest island in Lake Victoria. I traveled to Mfangano in February of 2014 and spent three days filming on the mountainside and conducting interviews to learn about this serious challenge. Already, surrounding islands have been cut clean, and suffered the consequences of infertile land, low rain falls and loss of local resources and income, and now Mfangano’s population of 20,000 residents face the same threats.
This mini-documentary looks at the economic and social pressures that cause this environmental destruction, and what local farmers in coordination with the Organic Health Response are doing to to reverse it through organic farming, re-forestation and protection of sacred and vulnerable areas. In addition to these efforts, OHR has been providing health services and counseling, job opportunities, public education through radio programing, and community building through their Ekialo Kiona community center. These services, founded and run by people from Mfangano, promote economic and social justice and are essential to creating a community that is able to take care of it’s environment, a key aspect that I hope will lead to a green, healthy Mfangano in the future.