Kenya National Discourse Forum (KNDF)

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KNDF is a multi-stakeholder, membership organization of civil society organizations (CSOs), community-based organizations (CBOs) and non- governmental organization (NGOs) dealing with issues on; environment, agriculture, land use, water & sanitation and energy among others. They operate in the Lake Victoria basin on activities that play a leading role in the socioeconomic development. The membership is loose and open to civil society organizations seeking a platform for dialogue on issues, problems and processes related to the development of the Nile river basin. Currently, the membership stands at 36 CSOs, spread out in six KNDF Focal Points that traverse the entire Lake Victoria Basin.

The Forum brings on board considerable strengths in its capacity to establish grass root participation in multi-stakeholder dialogues, on-the-ground research perspectives in programme development and incorporating inter-disciplinary approaches to problem solving across the social sector. Its membership has well established long-term relations with local communities, thus capable of providing detailed local processes which is often critical to successful project and programme planning and implementation.

KNDF was established in 2003 and has its headquarters in Kisumu


Our Vision
Intensified engagement of various stakeholders for sustainable use of the Nile Basin Resources.

Our Mission
To provide a platform for local communities and other stakeholders in sharing concerns over the Nile development.

Our Goal
To increase numbers and make up of civil society organizations engaged in discourse activities; to enhance interest and active participation of all stakeholders, and; assist in capturing the perception of participation in discourse activities.

Our Mandate
  • Provide a platform for dialogue for CSOs, communities and other stakeholders
  • Facilitate CSOs and communities involvement in decision making processes, planning and implementation of development projects and programmes
  • Continually identify and mobilise CSOs and other stakeholders for joint action
  • Continually collate and disseminate information on environment and development in the Nile
  • Raise CSOs and community voices on strategic issues such as water hyacinth infestation, water pollution and falling lake Victoria levels among others
Key Areas of Engagement
  • Civil society capacity building
  • Research and dissemination
  • Advocacy and networking
  • Mobilisation for Action
  • Knowledge and communication


Joseph Peter Ngome
Joseph Peter Ngome
Joseph Peter Ngome is a Health and Environmental Media Network (HEMNet) Coordinator; he is a journalist by profession who graduated from St. Augustine University – Tanzania. Joseph worked in various media houses in Kenya for 25 years and later as a radio report with BBC World Service in Kenya, with his experience in media, he got involved in civil society work championing the media’s role in Civil Society Organizations. He has interacted and worked closely with Environmental Conversationalist, Water experts, Fisheries and Health experts among others and he has written widely on the said sectors.
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Jacqueliene K Wamalwa
Jacqueliene K Wamalwa
Vice Chairperson
Jacqueline K. Wamalwa is a Community Worker and a member of the Khalaba Water Resources Users Association working for Catholic Justice and Peace Commission as the Program Officer. Jacqueline is a catchment area advisory committee member of the Lake Victoria North Water Resources Management Authority for 6 years and served as the chair person for 3 years. She is a member of Kenya National Discourse Forum working as the Vice Chairperson.
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Tom Barasa Wafula
Tom Barasa Wafula
Secretary General
Barasa is a holder a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture, PGDE, MA- Community Development and Project Management, he is a teacher and sociology by profession and with this background of Agriculture and Sociology, Barasa has implemented many conservation activities at community level and beyond Vihiga County. With over 15 years of experience in Education, Community Development, Environmental Education and Conservation sectors, including Project Planning and Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, he has been involved in civil society organizational advocacy and community development activities. Barasa works with the Vihiga Community Development Organisation as the Development Officer and he is a member of Kenya National Discourse Forum and a national trainer in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with Lake Victoria Catchment Environment Program (LVCEEP).
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Current Activities
In line with its mandate of creating platforms for dialogue, KNDF has this year organized the following fora:

Political Debates
Four debates have so far been organized in four different Focal Points. The forums created the opportunity for politicians at the level of aspiring parliamentarians, councilors and political party leaders to interact in a debate with members of the civil society organizations. The major concerns both in the line of environment and development were identified by the CSOs and tabled for debate. The purpose was to sensitise the politicians on the key concerns of the communities, deliberate and come up with a common political front in addressing the problems affecting the Focal Points. The forums also served as an eye-opener to the CSOs to sensitise their target communities to elect, by the end of the year, environmentally conscious leaders during the forth coming general elections. The debates were covered by the print and electronic media. The panelists, who were basically politicians, got the opportunity to articulate their views and those of their respective parties in addressing environmental and development issues pertinent to the communities whereas the audience that consisted of CSOs representatives engaged them in an interactive question and answer session. Two similar debates are lined up for the remaining two Focal Points.

Regional Celebrations
KNDF in collaboration with NBI, Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) and Uhai Lake Forum organized the Nile day, World Water Day and the Lake Victoria Day respectively. The events took place on February, March and April 2007 respectively. The Nile Day sought to sensitise the communities and other stakeholders on the issues of the Nile, KNDF and NBI programmes and activities and mobilize the communities to undertake activities and participate in programmes that encourage peace building and sustainable utilization of the Nile waters.The World Water Day sensitized the communities on water resources management taking cognisance that water is life although Kenya is a water scarce country. The forum promoted the role of WRMA, KNDF and the communities through Water resource Users Associations (WRUAs) and other CSOs in managing and conserving the scarce water resources. Community water harvesting was given prominence with a special plea to urge communities to construct and protect simple water pans for domestic water uses in their villages. Lake Victoria Day served to sensitise the communities on the unsustainable utilization of the Lake Victoria resources that has led to the current environmental problems of the Lake. Such problems were identified as catchment degradation, heavy soil erosion, pollution of the lake from fertilizers, sewage, chemicals and silt deposits, water hyacinth infestation and the ever decreasing fisheries resources. Particular concern was expressed on the receding lake levels. Communities were urged to take control and ownership of the lake resources and manage for sustainability.

Focal Points Mobilization
KNDF has since March 2007 undertaken membership mobilization in six Focal Point operating areas. A total of 26 districts out of 28 districts in the Focal Points have been covered. 430 member organization (mainly NGOs and CSOs) have been mobilized in the process. The purpose of the mobilization process was to recruit membership to KNDF network, establish membership operation areas, and focus activities and contacts. This process then enabled KNDF to cluster the membership according to focus areas. The groups have been clustered according to the following focus areas: Water and sanitation, Agriculture, Afforestation, HIV/AIDs and Solid waste management. The groups now form a good data base for use by both KNDF and NBI.

Resource Centre
Since March 2007 KNDF has been developing and stocking its Resource Centre based at its office in Kisumu, Kenya. The centre is located at an ambient and serene location, at the centre of the city where it is easily accessible. It is currently operational and is open to the general public. Resource Centre at KNDF Office It has in its stock materials that cover diverse topics on environment, health, social issues, agriculture and Nile Basin, that were collected from various institutions within the Lake basin and without. Such institutions included NGOs, NBI, Universities, research institutions, Lake Victoria Basin Commission, International agencies and Government ministries. The materials, both in print and electronic form include books, booklets, newsletters, brochures, pamphlets and posters. The bibliography of stocked materials, together with a collection of articles concerning the Nile as written in the local dailies are also preserved at the centre. With an internet connection in our resource centre, plans are at an advanced stage to set up a web site and also produce KNDF newsletter. This is intended to bring reading closer to the people.

Radio Talk shows
KNDF has organized three radio talk shows aired by a local radio FM station operating from Kisumu, Kenya. The Station, Radio Lake Victoria, aired the programmes in the local vernacular language of the communities living within the Lake Victoria Basin. Three talk shows have been completed and were hosted by KNDF officials. A series of other shows are lined up in other FM radio stations that will broadcast in Kalenjin and Luhya languages. The two languages are widely spoken by communities in the Lake Basin. Each of the completed shows was aired for one hour and focused on one major environmental concern. The discussants, who were KNDF officials, highlighted the concerns giving the background, its challenges and possible ways of addressing it in the first 20 minutes of the shows leaving a period of 40 minutes for interactive question and answer session from listeners. Among the issues already covered in the shows include: The resurgence of water hyacinth in Lake Victoria - whether a menace or a resource; Lake Victoria Fisheries - Management and sustainability options, and; the Lake Victoria basin catchment degradation. Awareness was also raised on NBD, KNDF and NBI, their programmes and activities.

Water Workshops
KNDF has facilitated four workshops. The first workshop held in April 2007 was organized in collaboration with Confidence Building and Stakeholder Involvement (CBSI)- A Share Vision Program of NBI. The workshop dubbed Confidence Building Stakeholder Forum was held in Kisumu, Kenya and brought participants from the Academia, Research institutions, government officers from line government ministries, CSOs and the local communities to discuss the resurgence of water hyacinth in Lake Victoria, merits and demerits. The workshop resolved to advance a position of controlled utilization of water hyacinth. A similar confidence building workshop as been scheduled for October, 2007. Proceedings in one of KNDF water Workshops Similarly, KNDF has held three other workshops on Water Harvesting, Integrated Water Resources Management and the CSO water Forum. The workshops sought to build the capacity of participants on water harvesting and Integrated water resources management (IWRM) option and strategies with the view to equip them to be KNDF animators who will promote the strategies in the communities where they come from. Participants were drawn from KNDF member organizations spread out in the Focal Points. The water Forum created awareness among the participants on the Water reform process in Kenya and Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) as managers of the water resources on the local level.


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