Hope Amidist Deficiency
Gideon Muia Mutisya aged 58years is married to Anne Muthike and they have 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys) and 7grandchildren. He is the Chairman of Kamathi Self-help group that is an affiliate group of Kyumbuke CBO.
Before interventions by ADSE, Gideon depended on casual jobs in Mombasa Coastal city to take care of his family needs and since his income was not enough, he thought of coming back home to practice agribusiness, as he could be able to get income to take care of his family from sell of extra farm produce. When he returned back home from the city, he ventured into farming but the business was not productive as expected since he had minimal knowledge on good agricultural practices that were suitable within the area despite having a 17 acre piece of land which he inherited from his parents.
“When ADSE came to our area, our group benefited from trainings on good agricultural practices which included modern technologies which are adaptive to the current weather patterns experienced in the area like use of zai pits for planting crops and trees, conservation agriculture practices, pasture establishment, goats upgrading and support, poultry keeping, good leadership skills, village savings and loaning among others. From the trainings, I was able to start pasture establishment in a 5-acre piece of land and along the terraces. After being trained I realized that grass requires minimal amount of rain to grow and this knowledge has helped me to grow enough grass for my animals and I sell the extra to get income to cater for my family needs and get money to save in Kamathi VSL and to repay the loans too. I also got knowledge to make hay bales which has helped in storage and also give a good price as compared to selling the grass in bulk. Since May 2022, I have been able to sell 54 bales giving me an income of 18,900 shillings and this has created more space for me to store even more grass and this will give me more income since the demand is going up as the whole of the region suffered from lack of rains for the last 2 seasons”. Says Gideon
Village savings and loaning training has helped the community be able to save and have access to credit and Gideon’s group Kamathi started doing VSL in 2019. Through the saving, Gideon and his Wife received 49,500 shillings after share out and purchased 1 plastic water tanks of 10,000litres which has helped them in water harvesting giving them clean water for drinking and for domestic use The second year of their VSL, the group meetings were interfered with due to Covid-19 and they were able to get 23,000 shillings which they used to purchase another water tank of 5,000 liter capacity. During the third share out in 2021, the two got Kshs. 54,000 where they bought a cow with 29, 000 shillings, used 18,000 shillings to construct a hay storage store at their homestead and the balance they paid school fees for their grandchildren.
Gideon says since the CBO was supported with male Galla goats which is an improved variety of goats, the local breed of goat has improved and the community is now getting better income from sale of goats which adapts well in the current drought situation as compared to the cows. This support and training on goat keeping encouraged the groups to take up goat keeping as an activity and this is helping the community in getting an income to buy food and to cater for family needs since the crops failed.
“The interventions which ADSE has been carrying out with the community to improve our livelihoods have been of great help and we thank God for bringing the project to us as life could be very difficult and unbearable with the current economic situation in the country and the drought.” Says happy Gideon.