'I never wanted to borrow water from anybody'
Dorothy Nyamai is an uncommonly strong woman. She is a member of Semba Mituki self help group in Kenya. Formed by 13 women, this community came together to address their problems of poor access to water, soil erosion and need for improved farming methods. With the support of Excellent Development, Dorothy is transforming her life.
"I settled here in 1977. The farm was bare and so I started digging terraces with the little knowledge I had. At that time, there were no trees around so I started planting trees slowly by slowly.
I fetched water from Thwake River around 4kms away. It took me one hour to and from there. I don’t irrigate because I don’t have donkeys to carry water from the river
I dug a hole on a rock using a chisel which took me 3 days to dig because I wanted to catch drinking water when it rains. It took me 3 days to dig it because I never wanted to borrow water from anybody.
I’m digging terraces in my farm to conserve water to increase my crop production.
Now I am harvesting pigeon peas because of the terraces I had dug. During the last rains, the terraces were filled with water. I’m applying all that I learned from my group, in my farm. Working as a team has increased my knowledge and skills.
I have planted oranges, guavas, custard apple and Jatropha in my farm and they are doing well. I have planted Jatropha in order to generate income. Now I’m preparing to dig more terraces on my farm and plant more trees."
We are preparing to construct a sand dam which will increase our water supply so we can start planting vegetables and hence generate income. We will not be having any water problems around here when we build enough sand dams.
Dorothy Nyamai, Semba Mituki self help group, Kenya