Rural women - an inspiration

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Elizabeth Ndungwa is a member of the Star ya Thange self-help group in southeast Kenya. The group had a fantastic year in 2013, harvesting 2,300kg cow peas and 450kg of green grams.
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Collecting water is a daily chore for the majority of women in rural dryland Africa. They spend 6-12 hours a day walking and queuing for water. It's backbreaking work.

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Women in the Star ya Thange self-help group preparing their land for the planting season. It's hard work but with help from their sand dam and improved seeds they had a bumper harvest last year!

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Janet Muendo of the Muuo Wa Methovini self-help group looks forward to planting her improved sorghum seeds.

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Lois (right) is one of the most cheerful self-help-group members. She is a member of the Muuo wa Kuomoni group, who went from subsistence farming to creating a surplus in the space of just one year.

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Joyce Kilundo is a member of the Kakai self-help group. Building a sand dam has made a big difference to her. “I have four children. The health of my children is going to change because now they have good food to eat."


Just like her mother and grandmother, Mary Ndulu used to walk 13km to the Athi River every day to collect water. Now, with water close by, she is spending her time growing food for her family.


Kakewa Kaindi is well into her 70s. She has shouldered the burden of water collection all her life. Her age didn't stop her from joining the Muuo wa Kiumoni self-help group to build several sand dams since 2011.

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We looked at ourselves as women and asked ourselves how we were going to manage terracing which required energy. We thought that we could not make it. Today we have became experts in trenching and clearly count the benefits. The terraces we have dug in our farms have positively impacted our food production.

A member of the Kevanda Women's group, southeast Kenya

Did you know?

If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, there would be 150 million fewer hungry people in the world.


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