Everyone has hopes for their future, their families, and their communities. These hopes can be as simple as the opportunity to get an education, to enjoy lasting relationships or to develop skills and be able to use them to provide for others.
For many people however, these modest goals are made impossible by the constant struggle for survival. Lack of food, adequate shelter, and access to healthcare push people’s visions and hopes for the future out of reach. Maji Mazuri’s mission is to alleviate poverty by empowering people to transform their own lives.
The Kiserian Farm Project was initiated in an effort to establish an income generating strategy that could that could aid in the realization of Maji Mazuri as a self-sustaining charitable organization. The farm seeks to reach out to local community with agricultural skill training and will expand to include a resource center and commercial farming.
In addition, this Kiserian project provides a safe and self-sufficient farm in the Kenyan countryside where children can live and learn. A clinic has also been established to cater for the medical needs of the community. Currently the Kiserian project runs its activities on wind, solar and biogas energy.
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Currently the project is at an expansive phase. This year Maji Mazuri is:
- Building new structures for the rabbits, turkeys, geese, hen and a cock
- Planting maize Kale, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, water melon, bananas, napier grass
- Transplanting crops in the nurseries
- Erecting full water storage
- Installing drip pipes
- Preparing hay for the animal feeds
- Enhancing tick management and deworming of the animals
- Improving the feeding options and nutritional value of animal feeds
- Working on a process to improve the hygiene standards of the cow shades
- Improving the housing structures of the farm workers – lighting, bathroom and a common room
- Equiping the farm office with necessary stationeries and new tools as needed
- Maintaining farm equipment (e.g servicing the tractor, solar panels etc)
Maji Mazuri’s green initiative seeks to address the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation and wide spread poverty.
Around the world, people are waking up to the reality that this fragile earth we live on needs to be preserved. Kenya is also becoming aware that it cannot take the environment for granted. We’ve watched our neighbours in the horn of Africa suffer from a drought which, according to USAID, has killed two and a half times more than the earthquake in Haiti and the Tsunami in Indonesia combined. Kenya also finds itself in the worst environmental and economic crisis in generations. The impact of climate change has triggered an unprecedented public demand to undertake mitigation and adaptation measures to deliver proactive strategies geared towards sustainability.
In line with it’s mission of community development and empowerment, Maji Mazuri has sought to address the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation and wide spread poverty. With the assistance of The Rotary Club, Maji Mazuri sought to develop a well-coordinated, strategic and sustainable approach to champion green production.
The Kiserian project seeks to catalyse demand-driven green production and consumerism backed by:-
a strong, green entrepreneurial transformation
dynamic design for environmental protection
well coordinated community participation program
The dream started almost 20 years ago, when Wanjiku Kironyo visited Kiserian, a dusty parched region south of Nairobi. Upon closer inspection, she realized the land was excellent for growing vegetables and fruits but lacked consistent water supply. 15 years later she had raised sufficient capital to purchase some land in the area. With the assistance of the Crosscurrents International and the Oswald foundation, funds to drill a borehole on Maji Mazuri’s own land were obtained and an abundant supply of good quality water was found. A generator was purchased to pump the water. In addition, elevated water tanks were constructed, to farm water when it rained. With the pump and water tanks, farming commenced and Maji Mazuri was also able to provide much needed water- at a modest fee- to the local Maasai community whose cattle herds are often threatened by severe drought.
Kiserian was also established to rescue children at risk, and orphans. Also, in the Maasai community, girls are often married young, as a second, third or fourth wife to a much older man. They are forced to leave school and have children. This girls are often isolated, illiterate and vulnerable to HIV. A girl in this situation, and her family are stuck in a cycle of poverty. For many, the solution is as simple as the opportunity to get an education, to enjoy lasting relationships or to develop skills and be able to use them to provide for others.
Maji Mazuri sought to rescue some of this girls and provide education, but the building where they were running were run down, and school supplies were scarce. The Rotary stepped in. In a joint effort of The Rotary Club of Dayton Ohio USA and The Rotary Club of Muthaiga (Nairobi) Kenya, the clubs took on this remarkable project with the primary goal of rescuing children at risk. In addition to a new school building and a clinic, the Rotary funded groundbreaking projects in green technology.
Currently the Kiserian project runs its activities on wind, solar and biogas energy.
As more funds are obtained, the area of irrigated cultivation will be expanded. The farm has great potential to make a major impact on Maji Mazuri Programs by:
- producing a range of vegetables and fruit for consumption by the children’s, teachers and staff in the primary school, the Headstart Program in Mathare Valley and the Children’s Home in Kasarani.
- generating substantial income from the sale of cash crops in both the domestic and export markets (the neighboring farmer exports passion fruit to the UK)
- providing a facility for agri-business training for those graduates of the primary school not going on to secondary school, for some of the youth in the Mathare Maji Mazuri youth group and for members of the local community.
This project has the potential to be a poster child for the nation’s green initiatives (and the world), showcasing the efficient utilization of the available technologies, with the lowest impact on the environment.