The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

CORE: Community Road Empowerment

Attempting to improve quality of life and conserve the environment in rural East Africa - using soilbags to improve living environments; an approach combining construction and agriculture

Activity grant

Project Description

In rural Kenya, the forests that previously made up 30% of the country's area have been reduced to less than 2%, creating problems such as the disappearance of indigenous ecosystems, topsoil erosion, and reduced water retention. Agriculture dependent on chemical fertilizers is having a negative effect on soil quality, creating a vicious cycle of floods during the rainy season and insufficient water during the dry season. CORE encourages groups of farmers to improve their roads using soilbags, and promotes environmentally-friendly agriculture by providing training in manuring and agroforestry. It also provides regional farmers with practical experience using soilbags to repair reservoirs and carry out work to prevent soil runoff in sloped areas, so they can use the skills and knowledge acquired through these projects to create sustainable agricultural in their communities.

Preservation of surface soil and forests
Grant year
FY2009 Activity Grants
Grant term
1 year
April 2010 - March 2011
Grant amount
4,641,000 yen
Activity region
Trans-Nzoia County, Eldoret East, and Eldoret West, Kenya
Improving living environments using soilbags in Kenya

Overview of the Organization

Makoto Kimura, Chairman
Makoto Kimura, Chairman
Establishment purpose
Even though agriculture is a core industry of many developing countries, the majority of the poorest members of society live in rural areas. One of the reasons for this is undeveloped rural infrastructure such as roads and reservoirs. CORE's aim is to use regionally appropriate methods to help people in developed countries to solve the problems facing them independently. It works to contribute to eliminating global poverty by helping people improve rural infrastructure using their own efforts, fostering the confidence and motivation needed to increase quality of life.
Main areas of activity
Papa New Guineau, Philippines, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Vietnam, others
4 full-time staff members, 4 part-time members, 91 full members
Annual operating budget
3.21 million yen in 2007, 6.59 million yen in 2008, 9.52 million yen in 2009
Recent activities
Supporting people in rural areas in building and maintaining the infrastructure they use everyday, such as roads and reservoirs, using their own efforts and locally procurable materials. Promoting a shift to simple maintenance technology using soilbags that effectively use local soil and plastic bags that can be procured in developing countries, such as those used to hold crops and fertilizer. In addition to projects carried out solely by CORE, it also supports activities being implemented by the Asian Development Bank, universities, NGOs, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, and others.