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In a semi-arid land in Eastern Kenya 15 people, nine of whom live with a disability of some kind, have formed ‘the Kiangini Farm Pond Self-Help Group’. Six of the members are care-givers to children or adults with a disability.
46 year old Mueni Kikolya, is a member of this group. She is a care-giver to her husband and two grandchildren, Mutua and Kioko, both aged two, who all have disabilities.
Mueni talks about the challenges of irregular rainfall for farmers trying to eke a living from the land, challenges made more difficult by either having a disability or having family members with a disability. She then talks about the difference made to their lives after ABM’s partner, Anglican Development Services, Eastern (ADSE), came to her village of Kiangini, a difference brought about by building a self-help group to share the work, digging a farm pond to ensure year-round water, and learning about different vegetables that could be planted to vary the diet.
They were even able to grow enough vegetables to sell for a small profit.
Additionally, through ADSE’s advocacy, they learned they were eligible for government support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group has also been linked up to the Kenyan National Council of People with Disabilities, so that they can stay in touch with this key advocacy group.
Mueni says, ‘Before ADSE came to Kiangini, we used to depend on rainfall for our crops to flourish. The excavation of Kiangini farm pond by our group changed our livelihoods completely. The first round after we dug the pond, our group planted kales, coriander and capsicum. We were able to make total sales of kales, coriander and capsicum of about 11,350 Kenya shillings (about $150). We used the money we got (about $150) to buy farm inputs for the second round of planting.
With a smile, Mueni adds, ‘I really appreciate the work ADSE is doing in our location. Through support of the farm pond we have increased our incomes and it’s our hope to do more’.
As well as receiving much-needed funding from ABM’s generous supporters, this project also receives Australian Aid funding through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (#ANCP).
This project receives partial funding
from the Australian Government.