Tiaty is a territory of Kenya unfortunately affected by the constant theft of livestock, a plague that often has terrible consequences and that involves many men, fathers and husbands who often lose their lives leaving their families orphans of affections and income.
To overcome this serious problem, some women have gathered within a group, the Sinyati Women Group, with the intention of not giving up, but to seek a source of income for their families that was an alternative to risky pastoralism and that did not generate conflicts.
Thanks to the Mani Tese AGRICHANGE project, these women received some tree seedlings intended for both the development of beekeeping and fruit growing in their territory.
Unfortunately, however, another tragedy hit the community in the meantime: Lake Baringo overflowed, breaking the banks and flooding the homes of most of the women, thus forcing them to move to safer areas.
Due to the floods, the women of the Sinyati Women Group found themselves unable to proceed with the crops in their territories. But they did not lose heart and decided to plant all the plants received in the land of Hellen, the president of the group, which fortunately had not been affected by the natural disaster.
Almost a year ago, 125 saplings were planted last July.
In addition to having received the seedlings, the women were also trained in the management of their orchard. Through the acquired knowledge, they were able to take care of the seedlings and, during the last control visit, the survival rate of the seedlings supplied was 100%.
The women have shared roles and tasks in caring for the trees and meet two days a week to water the seedlings.
Thanks to this intervention, the group is also very motivated in raising the awareness of other members of the community on the importance of moving from their traditional source of livelihood, pastoralism, to other safer and more sustainable economic activities such as fruit growing.
After seeing that all the seedlings survived, the women started, on their own initiative, to create a hatchery and to use their farm as a demonstration place for other people in the community, providing them in turn with seedlings.
“Fruit growing is the most underrated activity in this area – said Hellen, the president of the group – Most people measure wealth based on the number of cattle they own without understanding the benefits that fruit growing could not have. only on income but also on health. As a group we want to educate people on the importance of diversifying their source of income and we hope this project really bears fruit! It goes without saying that our positive result is very encouraging for us.”
Hellen’s hope is to involve at least fifty other community members in the new business.
“It is not easy to convince people to leave their traditional job to grow fruit – says Edna Stated, another recipient of the project – We have a difficult task ahead of us but we are confident.”
These women are truly willing to go out of their way to change the community in a positive way. Their long-term goal, supported by the Mani Tese project, is for several families in the community to soon become able to embrace fruit growing and protect surrounding trees.
The “Agri-change: small businesses big opportunities Development of agro-food supply chains in the Molo river basin” project is promoted by Mani Tese and co-financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. It is carried out in collaboration with the local partners NECOFA and KOAN and the international partners E4Impact Foundation, University of Turin, Association of Beekeeping Producers of the Province of Milan (APAM), Italian Agricultural Veterinary Society of Milan (SIVAM), Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, headquarters of Piacenza.