Our Ongoing Projects

SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION
As one of the very first organizations to commence this project, 18 various turtle
conversation groups have been formed to protect these endangered species.

 

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SUSTAINABLE ORGANIC FARMING
The Mtopanga Training and Demonstration Farm is a 10hec farm with a variety of vegetables and fruits organically grown
 

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NGUUNI NATURE SANCTUARY
This amazing sanctuary in a completely natural surrounding is only 4km from the Bamburi Cement Factory. Giraffes, elands, Oryx, waterbucks, ostriches and many species of birds have made their home here
 

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Who We Are - Baobab Trust

In 1991, Dr. Haller set up The Baobab Trust as a non-profit organisation that works closely with the local communities. Using his knowledge in developing sustainable eco-systems, the Trust builds on his experience through education, training and community initiatives.

The founders of the Trust were the former Bamburi Cement Director, Robert Brenneisen and former Baobab Farm Ltd. Managing Director, Dr. Rene D. Haller.

What we do?
* Promote sustainable organic farming methods and conduct training programmes for the Bamburi stakeholders
* Developing alternative technologies for farming– charcoal, biogas production, and solar energy
* Environmental Education – conducting film shows, lectures and managing a bird and book club
* Developing Nguuni Nature Sanctuary, enhancing it as a tourism attraction, an educational facility and ensuring all wildlife and flora are maintained
* Turtle & Marine conservation awareness: project ensuring protecting endangered sea turtles
* Enhancing students’ learning and reading culture through an Education Centre (Library) for both children and adults.
* Nursery schools set up and support in Kimbunga, Mitedi and a recent new community – Mdengerekeni
* Promoting handicraft skills through a training workshop
* Developing an IT Centre for the surrounding communities
* A Health Centre consisting of a clinic and diagnostic laboratory has been set up. We are treating the stakeholders and also provide a 3-day mobile outreach station for 3 communities
* Providing support and assistance to other related organisation.

 

Dr. Haller

In 1959, Dr. Haller was employed by the Bamburi Cement Company to produce food and vegetables for the employees of the cement company. In 1970, he persuaded them to extend his remit by rehabilitating the cement quarries along the Mombasa coastline which had been left barren by years of excavations – a formidable task.

The quarry floor was as barren as the moon; the sun baked air temperatures were up to 40oC and the water was saline. After trying over 26 species of trees, Dr. Haller discovered that only the casuarinas tree, a native Australian species, could grow in these severe conditions. Its leaves are bunched together like pine needles, protecting them from losing moisture through evaporation.

After 10 months, Dr Haller looked at healthy casuarinas trees growing wild on the sand dunes as the early seedlings had started to wither. He noticed that the dense hair roots contained a cocktail of micro-organisms living in a symbiotic relationship necessary to the trees. After he introduced these into the quarry, the trees began to flourish.

In order to decompose the mass of needles, Dr. Haller introduced local “red legged” millipedes who he had noticed actually ate these needles. By feeding on these needles and turning them into humus, the first layer of soil was formed.

He went on to plant over 1 million trees in the quarry and after ten years a new balanced micro-climate had allowed new plants to flourish. The casuarinas trees were thinned out and native species were introduced, which attracted many insects, butterflies and birds to the quarries. Subsequently renamed The Haller Park, the quarries now contain a wide species of local wild animals as well as a very diverse selection of plants and trees. The Park now provides a sanctuary for over 30 species from the IUCN Red list of endangered species.

Dr. Rene Haller is a naturalist, trained in Horticulture, Landscaping and Tropical Agronomy. He came to Africa in 1956 to manage a coffee plantation on Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. Three years later he was recruited by the Bamburi Cement Company to head up their Garden Department.

He went far beyond his brief. In the 1970s he started a unique ecological experiment, attempting to rehabilitate the limestone quarries scarring the Mombasa coastline.

Today he has transformed much of the seven square kilometre Bamburi site from a barren and dusty lunar landscape to an ecological haven. The quarries are now a combination of lakes, wetlands and savannah grasslands, with walking and cycling trails, as well as a Nature Park and Wildlife Sanctuary - nearly 100,000 visitors came in 2002.

Our Team
Executive Trustee: Dr. Rene D Haller
Founder Trustee: Robert Brenneisen
Office Manager: Sonal Singh
Chief Operations Field Manager: Gideon Amboga
Turtle Ranger: Jonathan Charo
 
Our Commitment
The Baobab Trust engages in a variety of projects aimed at helping people live and work while conserving the environment