“When the rains fail, you end up with nothing”
The tomato plants of the women farmers' group are suffering from lack of rain.
In early 2015, Excellent Development started working in Lekurruki conservancy, northern Kenya, a remote region of the country which suffers from persistent droughts resulting in food shortages, hunger and migration.
Water and education needed
The 24 members of the Mukogodo Maasai women farmers' group are some of the people who will benefit from the network of sand dams to be built in Lekurruki this year. The water from the sand dams, together with training on climate-smart farming methods, will provide them with enough water close-by to irrigate their farms and enable them to plan their activities more effectively.
Agnes Kariga, a member of the group explains: “Once it rains within these areas, most of the members plant the wrong seedlings so they end up harvesting nothing. So they fail getting food for their families. The second problem is the rain - you plant and then the rains fail, so you end up with nothing.”
Living with elephants is tough
Lack of rain and knowledge aren’t the only challenges faced by Agnes and her community. “We are near the forest and there are so many wild animals in the forest and they come at night. The elephants come specifically when the maize is ready to be harvested. Once the elephants broke in and ate almost everything.”
The Maasai are committed to protecting the wildlife they share their home with, but it’s not easy when your livelihood is at stake and often leads to tragedy for both people and wildlife. The additional water provided by sand dams throughout the conservancy will help keep wild animals further away from farms and will complement the fences that have been built - all part of a bigger project to enable people and wildlife to live together in harmony.
No water – no food – no peace
As with many of the communities we work with, the Maasai’s challenges are multiple, but just as often the problems lead back to the same root cause: lack of water. Without water no food can be grown, communities and wildlife are more likely to get into conflict over dwindling resources, and people spend so many hours collecting water every day that they don’t have any time left for education and investment in their farms.
We need your support
We urgently need to raise money to support the Mukogodo Maasai to complete a network of dams in Lekurruki Conservancy, Kenya, so more people like Agnes and their families have a lifelong supply of water.
£15 could provide a claw bar, essential for building sand dams
£35 could provide a wheelbarrow, to transport rocks and cement on the dam site
£75 could provide a set of tools, including a hacksaw, claw bar, pickaxe, sledgehammer and shovel
“Once it rains within these areas, most of the members plant the wrong seedlings so they end up harvesting nothing. So they fail getting food for their families. The second problem is the rain - you plant and then the rains fail, so you end up with nothing.”
Agnes Kariga, women farmers group, Lekurruki