Management of Arid Zones and Development Options (MAZIDO) is a local NGO established in 1993 and registered in December 1995. MAZIDO was as a result of the June 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil. The Agenda 21 was on environment and development policies in the next century.
The main focus of MAZIDO International is on community responses especially those set to find solutions for their needs, and contribute towards poverty alleviation and protection of the integrity of ecosystems.
The organization set up its first office in Nairobi at Rehema House. During its early years of operations in Nairobi, MAZIDO, utilizing the services of a network of academicians and experts provided consultancy services to several International and Local Institutions. However, in 2006, a decision was made to move the Headquarters of the Organization to Voi in Taita Taveta County. This marked a turning point for the Organization and ushered in the era for community driven development initiatives.
Its first Community project was the Mbololo and Mwambirwa Integrated Forest Conservation and Livelihood Improvement Project which was implemented through a local CBO, Taita Environmental Management Alliance (TEMA) and funded by the Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF) from 2007 to 2010. The other project, the Buguta Water Supply Project was undertaken between 2011 and 2013 was funded by the Embassy of Japan.
MAZIDO prides itself with the following outcomes so far:
Development of several successful water projects. Construction of sand dams has demonstrated the potential for rain water harvesting for enhanced access to water and food security. Communities are replicating this technology. In addition to improving access to water, time taken by households in search of water has been reduced tremendously in beneficiary communities; time saved can now be put to other productive activities.
Increased knowledge on climate smart agricultural technologies, new livelihood options and environmental conservation. There is documented significant increase in farm produce since farmers started using the climate smart farming strategies. The introduction of fish farming in Wongonyi and Ronge' Juu has greatly improved community nutrition as well as provided new income streams.
Tree planting in Mwambirwa Forest has enhanced the water catchment function of the Mbololo Hill. The Greening with age campaign has made tree planting attractive to the youth and children.
MAZIDO has established spaces and forums through which small scale farmers are now engaging elected leaders and the County Government on issues affecting them. Improved linkages of farmers with the county government have led to provision of farm inputs to farmers.