Eliud Kihoro Ngungiri
03.03.1952 - 09.03.2021
Eliud Kihoro Ngunjiri passed on in Nairobi, Kenya on the 9th March 2021 after battling with COVID for a few weeks. He was laid to rest on 16th March at the Resources Oriented Development (RODI) centre at the corner of Thika Highway and the Eastern Bypass in Kiambu County. Hundreds of people attended his big send-off which was streamed live on u-tube. Many attended physically in spite of relentless efforts by the organisers to keep people away. Eliud had clearly touched the hearts of many people at all levels of society and across the continent and beyond. A giant has fallen but his spirit and vision shall live on.
After working in the government agricultural extension service Eliud later joined Oxfam. While there he went out of his way to support the emergence of alternative approaches to Agriculture in Kenya. He mentored and sponsored some of the key people on the Agroecology landscape in Kenya today. On leaving Oxfam he founded RODI Kenya in 1992.
He was a trailblazer in pioneering the work with prisons and in supporting sustainable agriculture initiatives and in building relevant networks. He played very key roles in the formation and growth of networks such as PELUM Kenya, PELUM regional, SCOPE Kenya and ReSCOPE. He was the founding Chairman of both SCOPE Kenya and ReSCOPE among many other roles. He was a key member of the group that founded ReSCOPE at a meeting held in December 2006 in Lusaka, Zambia. At the time of his death, he was the Chair of the Board for both SCOPE Kenya and ReSCOPE and Founder and Executive Director of RODI among many other roles and responsibilities.
Eliud will for long be remembered for his passion for the empowerment of people including prisoners and children, his recognition of the value of education, his love for sustainable approaches to agriculture. All these were combined with the warmth of his personality. He was always supportive of the people around him. Whenever I met Eliud, he always shared his incisive thoughts and his advice and empathy never dried up.
Eliud will remain a larger than life figure in the hearts of very many people. May his legacy live on. May the family, friends and colleagues be consoled by the beauty of the work he did and the life well lived. It is upon all of us to take the baton and carry on to fulfil the hopes and aspirations that we shared with Eliud. May his dear soul rest in power.
Mugove Walter Nyika, General Coordinator, ReSCOPE Programme