NJABINI WOOL CRAFTERS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY
Njabini Wool Crafters (NWC) is a young and vibrant cooperative society started in 2004 as a loose group of Kinangop youths, also members of Friends of Kinangop Plateau (FoKP) interested in wool spinning and weaving and registered in as a cooperative society in 2012. The Society’s headquarters are based in Njabini, Nyandarua County Kenya.
The wool spinning and weaving enterprises was started as conservation tool. Through great conservation work by Friends of Kinangop Plateau (FoKP) a community based conservation organization, and long term research by scientists from National Museums of Kenya it was quickly clear that traditional livestock farming is more compatible with the Kinangop highland grasslands. These unique highland grasslands are home to specialized birds and are the global stronghold of Sharpe’s Longclaw, which requires grass tussocks for feeding, roosting and nesting. The longclaw has been severely affected by change of land use from the traditional livestock farming to crop cultivation. Its numbers have declined by more than 80% and are still falling. If the grasslands are lost, the Longclaw and other grassland birds will be too. Turning around the decline of Sharpe’s Longclaw is a major challenge, but one which can be achieved.
The Njabini Wool Crafters aims to protect both the Kinangop grasslands and Sharpe’s Longclaw by offering an economically viable alternative to converting the remaining grassland for arable farming. This project is a crucial part of local community-based conservation activities and is also critical in empowering the local youths.