THE WORLD BANK GROUP A World Free of Poverty

Indigenous Knowledge Program for Development

IK Cases

Knowledge Pack : Kenya

This Knowledge Pack contains Indigenous Knowledge cases and other useful information related to Kenya. The indigenous knowledge pack is a tool that provides users with quick access to synthesized information by country or selected thematic area.

For more Information on the
Indigenous Knowledge Program
please contact: Reinhard Woytek

Local IK Sources

Bank Projects related
to IK

Other Sources


IK Cases


The use of wild plants for survival purposes


 Use of plants for their antibiotic effects.

Back to Top
IK Homepage

Use of Wild Plants for Survival

Summary: East Africa, and especially Tanzania, has one of the richest Flora in tropical Africa. Lowlands, highlands, inland lakes and a variable climate produce a multitude of biotopes: (semi) deciduous or humid forests, Savannah and steppe, Miombo forests, all contribute to that exceptional bio-diversity. Some of the species have considerable economic value for the rural population. They are used for medicinal, dietary or cultural, construction or artesanal purposes. Local communities market some of these plants on local level. However, commercialization beyond local communities takes place only in rare cases.

Lesson: Studying the various uses and commercial value of underutilized plants could generate income for rural communities.

Source: MARECIK N. Ole-Lengisugi; F. Ole-Ikayo, or contact:

Back to Top
IK Cases
IK Homepage


Use of Plants with Antibiotic Effects.

Summary: The Giriama community depend on "Arabuko-Sokoke" coastal forests for their supplies of medicine, food, etc. They use plant species to prevent or treat infectious diseases for wounds, boils, scabies, diarrhea, dysentery, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Annonaceae, Fabaceae and Vitaceae are the most commonly used plant families. Laboratory tests confirmed that most of the plant species used traditionally to manage bacterial and fungal infections showed strong effects against tested pathogens. The unique Arabuko-Sokoke forests are an endangered biotop due to expanding settlements and other utilization. In the case of its disappearance, the Giriama could lose a source of medicinal plants and a number of unique species of fauna and flora would lose their habitat too.

Lesson: The knowledge of the Giriama is useful for managing the endangered resource and provides the basis for its sustainable use.

Source: MARECIK, N. Ole-Lengisugi, (1998) Doris Mutta

Back to Top
IK Cases
IK Homepage


Local IK Sources


Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge

National Museums of Kenya

George H. Abungu, Director General

PO Box 40658, Nairobi

Tel: 254-2-744233

Fax: 254-2-741424

Email:  or 


Centre for Indigenous Knowledge Systems and By-Products

Monica Opole, Coordinator

PO Box 66344, Nairobi

Tel: 254-2-448150

Fax: 254-2-444424



Indigenous Information Network

Lucy Mulenkei, Director

Galexon House

3rd Floor

PO Box 74908


Tel: 254-2-723958

Fax: 254-2-729607



Francis N. Sakuda, Director


PO Box 577

Tel: 254 0303



Environment Liaison Centre International

Dr. Ernest Rukangira, Director



Tel: (254-2) 22154


International Development Resource Council

Francois Gasengayire


Tel: 713 160/1


Pathfinder International

Francesta E.Farmer, Director

International House

Mezzanine Floor

Mama Ngina Street

PO Box 48147

Nairobi, Kenya



Traditional Media Agency for Development

Patrick Omani

PO Box 66514


Tel: 242056


Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

Joyce Onyango

PO Box 67839


Tel: 248336


Back to Top
IK Homepage


Bank Projects

Early Childhood Development Project

The development objective of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project is to improve quality and educability of children in poor Kenyan households. The project seeks to: (1) improve child cognitive and psycho-social development; (2) improve child health and nutrition; (3) increase school enrollment at the appropriate age; and (4) reduce dropout and repetition rates in lower primary school. An important collaborative objective is to improve the human capital potential specifically of poor and otherwise disadvantaged pre-schoolers. The project consists of two core components: (1) improving ECD worker training, performance, and supervision; and (2) community capacity building, mobilization, and parenting education. Three pilot interventions will test options to develop cost-effective, replicable models for: (1) improving the financing of ECD services in poor communities by way of community grants; (2) raising nutrition and health standards of pre-schoolers, including those in the particularly vulnerable first three years of life; and (3) smoothing the transition from pre-school to primary school.

Full Report: PID

National Agricultural Research Project (NARP) (02)

The objectives of the National Agricultural Research Project - Phase II (NARP II) are to contribute to food security, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection by raising agricultural productivity and incomes, particularly those of women and small farmers, on a sustained basis. The project consists of three main components: a) institution building-emphasis on enhanced research management, financial management, human resource development, and an upgraded information system; b)research program implementation decentralized to centers progressively given authority and responsibility for extension outreach; and c) a seeds program- a pilot scheme to improve the quality, quantity, and delivery of basic and commercial seeds.

Full Report: PID

District AIDS and Reproductive Health (DARE) Project

The Decentralized Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Project will improve mother, and child health through integral delivery services in reproductive health, child survival, and HIV/AIDS care, and, slow the increased HIV ratio, by decentralizing management delivery services to, and within districts. The components will: 1) support the Government in implementing its decentralization policy, by improving fiscal decentralization, building capacity at provincial, district, and sub-district levels, as well as improving planning and financial management, organizational restructuring, and systems development. Activities include the application of new resource allocation criteria, based on an objective, transparent, poverty-focused rationale; recurrent budgets, simplified to allow increased discretionary control in resource allocation; and, capacity building, to focus on financial management training for District Health, Hospital and Rural Management Boards; 2) focus on the medical aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, to also include preventive medicine, based on behavior interventions, contraceptive uses, blood testing, etc, with special attention to the poor, adolescent, and women; and, 3) address reproductive health, on such issues as family planning, safe motherhood, child survival, and sexually transmitted infections. Training, and procurement of drugs, and equipment will be financed.

Full Report: PAD

Back to Top
IK Homepage


Bank Sources

Indigenous Knowledge for Development Link to the Homepage of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

Database of Indigenous Knowledge and Practices Link to the Database of Practices of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

IK Notes Newsletter Link to the IK Notes of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

An Introduction to the Microfinance Institutions Contact List

External Sources

Register for Best Practices in Indigenous Knowledge Link to the database of Best Practices of UNESCO

Nuffic/CIRAN IK Development Monitor and Addresses of Other IK Centers Link to the Addresses of Other IK Centers and CIRAN's IK-Pages

 Please send feedback or comments to

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

Back to Top
IK Homepage

IK Contributing Format

1. Country:

Where is the practice applied (country and location)?

2. Domain:

In which sector is the practice applied (agriculture, health, social development etc.)?

3. Technology:

What technology (e.g. soil erosion control, childcare, institutional development etc.)?

4. Bearers of Knowledge:

By whom is the practice applied (e.g. Washambaa, local healers, women's group of a given village etc.)?

5. Source:

Where can we inquire further?

Primary provider information (probably yourself or your institution)

Secondary providers of information

Add references to literature, web sites, names of individuals or organizations that can corroborate the practice.

Include addresses of primary and secondary providers of information.

6. Descriptive headline of practice:

One to two lines capturing the main features of a practice.

7. Summary:

Describe the main features of the practice and explain (not more than 200 words).

8. Lessons:

Answer three key questions related to efficacy and impact of the practice.

- Why it is important for the local community?

- Why might it be beneficial to other communities?

- Why should development organizations learn more about this practice?

9. Methods used to capture information:

How was the practice identified, recorded and documented?


The IK database is an open, on-line resource for information on indigenous knowledge practices. The database acts as a referral system and does not disclose the technical details of practices or applications. Most practices in the database have been reported elsewhere in publicly accessible information sources. As is the principle of a referral database the provider of information could be asked by users of the database to provide further information or pointers as regards details of the practice. It is to the discretion of the provider of information and the inquirer to negotiate the terms of the exchange of knowledge. No information provided will be made public without the consent of the provider.

Back to Top
IK Homepage