Food Security Program Update 2nd May 2015

Jitokeze wamama wafrika is a community based organization that works with marginalized communities in the low land areas of West pokot to improve food security in the region, enable participants engage in activities that can help them generate income as well as train them on peace and conflict transformation which is the corner stone for development.

To achieve this, we have been working with various self help groups and we can attest to the social economic benefits that members of these groups have achieved since we started working with them in our Food security program.

Kakuko SHG is one of the groups we have been working with in Batei Ward under Mr. Edwin Juma. The group had started years back as a movement against sokoria, a popular tree whose leaves are used as vegetables by most people in the low land areas of Pokot, after some girls fell off it. Members came together and started farming with the aim of producing vegetables and selling them to the community around but due to harsh climatic conditions the project did not go far.

Their dream however did not die and when Jitokeze came in the region in 2015, the 14 women and two men agreed to work with the organization in raising poultry for generating income and engaging in farming of drought tolerant crops through attending training and practicing what they have been taught in their farms.

Members share that their vegetable project had failed the first time because they did not have the knowledge which they now have. They have acquired skills in Agro forestry practices; poultry keeping and crops production which has seen them raise money and improve their living standards through farming.

Through building local brooders (chepkubes) members have been able to raise chicks and most of them have sold part of their flocks to raise money for purchasing chain links for fencing their farms. They have also been able to purchase grafted mango seedlings and tissue culture bananas which each member will be planting in her farm besides the pawpaw seedlings that they had raised in their demo site and shared among themselves.

Participants are now aware of drought tolerant crops such as cow peas, ground nuts, cassava, maize, beans and sweet potatoes and after seeing how well they did last year in the demo site, they are each going to plant some in their own farms. They thank the organization for the trainings and above all helping them meet half the required costs of purchasing farm inputs.

Apart from farming, the group also engages in making bracelets and ornaments from beads and selling them in the local market. Some members also engage in preparing herbs for treating various diseases which they also sell at the local market. The money acquired belongs to the group and it is loaned to members who later pays it back with an interest.

Mr Richard Lokuk, the group’s chairman feels they have achieved their goal because they can now feed their children, pay fees and have a little more money to save. He says all this would not have been possible without each members’ effort and contribution. He is grateful to the organization for boosting them and making it possible for them to grow and have the desire to continue growing. He shared that most people from the community around are asking to join the group but at the moment they have not yet decided if to expand the membership or create another group and share the knowledge and help them also grow just as they have been helped by jitokeze.