UKaid empower group with climate smart agriculture techniques

Emaiyanata Self Help Group
Sipion Ene Leketony, a member of Emaiyanata Self Help Group displays part of the tomato harvest from the group farm in Nguruman, Kajiado county. Photo: Facebook/UkInKenya

Lenkobei village in Kajiado County is home to the 21 women and 2 men who comprise the Emaiyanata Self Help Group.

Despite the dusty, dry and heated environment, the group are working to empower themselves economically through practicing ‪climate‬ smart agriculture.

The realisation that this was the way forward was when they saw that simply keeping livestock alone was a risk laden approach due to erratic rainfall patterns experienced in recent times which have an adverse affect on access to sustainable water resources, pasture and food production.

“As women in this arid region of Lenkobei we sat down and decided to engage in crop farming to supplement our ‪‎livestock‬ which often succumbs to drought hits,” says Sipion Ene Leketony, a member of the group, who observes that all cows have to be taken over 30km away to get some pasture and water.

Emaiyanata Self Help Group
The Emaiyanata Self Help Group. Photo: Facebook/UkInKenya

With financial support from UKaid, the Embassy of Sweden, and Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) in partnership with Act Change Transform (Act!), the group have established a solar powered drip irrigation system for horticultural production covering the one and half acre farm.

Emaiyanata Self Help Group
The Emaiyanata Self Help Group. Photo: Facebook/UkInKenya

Group members received training on setting up the drip irrigation and management of the system which included mounting 5,000 litres water tank above the ground to help build pressure to irrigate one acre, digging of trenches to lay out the water piping and installing systems to help control a gate water during ‪irrigation‬.

Emaiyanata Self Help Group
The pond where water is harvested and pumped to the farm. Photo: Facebook/UkInKenya

The group members and communities around the project have received training on crop farming using irrigation, application of manure, crop protection, harvesting and marketing.

Emaiyanata Self Help Group
Noah Lusaka Project Manager Arid Lands Information Network showcases how to use drip irrigation technology to the group. Photo: Facebook/UkInKenya

Between October 2014 to January 2015, the group began harvesting tomatoes and onions, followed by passion fruit in October 2015. Initially, these were sold at family level, but in 2 years, the group hope to be harvesting mangoes.

The pond where water is harvested and pumped to the farmNoah Lusaka Project Manager Arid Lands Information Network showcases how drip irrigation technology to the group Promising Harvest! Sipion Ene Leketony, a member of Emaiyanata Self Help Group displays part of the tomato harvest from the group farm in Nguruman, Kajiado county