Dr. Frederick Gikandi
Dr. Frederick Gikandi is a unique environmentalist who for the past 13 years has, on a volunteer basis, undertaken activities to reclaim a large and neglected quarry in Kenya's coastal city, Mombasa.
The 40-foot deep quarry located 600 meters offshore and with its floor only four feet above the sea, had been earmarked as the municipality's refuse dump site. Were it not for his efforts, the surrounding urban neighbourhoods would have suffered from air pollution from the decomposing refuse, and the Indian Ocean's coastal and marine ecosystems would have been polluted. With no training in the field of the environment and sometimes against great odds, Dr. Gikandi has rehabilitated the quarry by planting trees and raising environmental awareness through a campaign, involving the local population. When the area was completely re-afforested, he invited 10 different tribesmen to replicate their rural homes in the small clearings of the new forest. The outcome is now a well-known sustainable eco-cultural tourist village named Ngomongo Village.
His campaign involved public meetings, public speaking, and the distribution of flyers throughout the community including to school children and visitors to the village. More significantly, Dr. Gikandi has personally invested some US$200,000 in his reclamation project, which is serving as a model for other urban and non-urban communities, which are affected by degraded lands.