INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF KENYA
LAKE NAIVASHA SCHOOL TRIP
22nd March, 2018
Lake Naivasha is one of the freshwater lakes in Kenya, and is located outside the town of Naivasha in Nakuru County. It is also part of the Great Rift Valley. The name derives from a local Maasai name Nai’posha, meaning “rough water” because of the sudden storms which can arise. International School of Kenya (ISK) 5th grade students went on a trip to Lake Naivasha where they learnt about many of the topics that they have studied in class. During the trip to the lake, they passed through the Rift Valley view point to learn about the impacts of Agriculture, and then proceeded to Kijabe forest and learnt about the impacts of deforestation. They finally went to Lake Naivasha where they learnt about the Lakes’ history, challenges faced, and the effects of pollution in the lake.
Youth Conservation Awareness Program (YCAP) is the main project under the sustainability department of Cisticola Tours LTD. In line with YCAP’s Mission of creating a generation that appreciates conservation, this trip was an important occasion for relaying important information to the ISK students. The head of Cisticola Tours LTD (Washington Wachira), and two field guides from YCAP (Wilfred Savali & John Wanyoike) were present to ensure that the students learnt the most from the trip.
80 ISK students and 10 teachers were present during the trip to Lake Naivasha. The ISK team was led by David Guarnieri who is a grade 5 teacher. This group was divided into three small groups and each group was led by a field guide who was with them throughout the trip.
The following were the main activities of the day:
- Rift Valley view point talk
The first stop on the way to Lake Naivasha was at the Rift Valley view point. The students learnt about the impacts of intensive agriculture in the region. The view point offered an excellent view of how intensive agriculture and lack of proper soil management techniques has affected the area. It was also a great point of viewing other beautiful landscapes and sceneries. The students were taught by the field guides about the solutions that the farmers can use to remedy the situation. After the talks the students took some good photos to use in their class reports and had some snacks before they left for Kijabe forest.
- Kijabe forest talk
Kijabe forest was the next stop and it was an impeccable learning point. This is because it offered a close comparison area for natural and man-made forests as well as an immediate view of the impacts of deforestation. The students were taught how do differentiate between natural and man-made forest using tangible examples. They also learnt ways of curbing deforestation. After the talk at this point the students proceeded to Lake Naivasha
- Lake Naivasha talk
Visiting Lake Naivasha was the climax of the day. The students arrived at the lake ready to learn and the field guides had already prepared them psychologically with short briefings during the trip. On arrival, the students were welcomed warmly and one of the natives of the area (Mr. Peter) gave a very informative talk about the Lake. He talked about the history of the lake and his experience living in the area for the last 50 years. He also highlighted the major events during that time such as how water hyacinth was introduced to the lake, the methods they have used to remove water hyacinth in the lake, how over grazing impacted negatively to the lake, and the impacts of human encroachment. After his very informative talk, the students went for a shoreline walk. That was followed by a lunch break which culminated the activities of the day.
Educational school trips are one of the best methods of ensuring effective learning. This was clearly demonstrated by the impact this trip had on the students. During this trip, the students had the opportunity to collect crucial data that they will use for their school projects and at the same time learn new things that cannot be demonstrated in a classroom environment. The students also experienced a different learning environment and had the opportunity to ask questions directly to the field guides who are environmental education experts.
See you next time!