We have exciting updates on the success of the WAIGES (Women’s Agriculture and Income Generation Enterprise for Sustainability) Project in Kenya which aimed to educate women on sustainable agriculture to combat food insecurity and poverty. All the project aims were met which has had a huge impact on the individuals trained and the communities in the area as a whole!
What is the aim of the project?
Food insecurity and extreme poverty are issues faced by the community in Bwayi in Western Kenya. We aim to tackle these issues through The WAIGES Project, by giving local people the right to control the production and distribution of their own food. It also aims to promote crop diversity and conserve the precious ecosystems in the area. We also encourage women to set up their own businesses and teach them about nutrition to improve the health of the community.
What has the project achieved?
100 women were trained in sustainable agriculture techniques and can now grow, harvest and sell their own crops! The crops are sold locally which has reduced the women’s dependence on large-scale farms which were paying women as little as 50p a day. The produce grown in Bwayi now has a reputation for its high quality, making it sought after by hotels and restaurants in neighbouring towns!
The sustainable agriculture training means that a wider range of nutritious fruit, vegetables and grains are being incorporated into the diets of the community. The people are eating healthier, helping to combat HIV, and the children of the trainees now eat three meals a day instead of the one.
All 100 women trained have set up business to sell their extra crops and on average their income has increased by a whopping 300%! Women are now generating their own income and using profits to buy books, pens and uniforms for local schools. This has had a positive impact on education in the region as the number of the trainee’s children in school has increased from 200 to 550 since the project was introduced.
Through land management, crop rotation and diversity, and the use of natural manures, the land is much more fertile. These sustainable agriculture techniques have helped ensure the community has a secure food supply all year-round. The seeds used are also from local providers which supports the local economy.
Women have been educated on the importance of eating fresh, nutritious foods and shared this valuable information with their families and the wider community to benefit everyone!
Everlyne is one of the women who received training as part of this project. She cares for her 6 children – Collines, Daniel J. and Daniel W., Jivisia, Kevin, and Lucy, as her two daughters sadly died, from malaria and HIV/Aids. After receiving Niaver’s sustainable agriculture training, Everlyne is now able to get so much food from her garden so that she can save seeds for the future and sell organic vegetables to customers. She has been able to buy necessary medication and a solar lamp for the children to use while doing their homework. Having a solar lamp means that they no longer have to use an old kerosene lamp which gave the children eye and chest problems. All of the children’s performances at school have improved tremendously as a result. r says that she is now happy in herself and in her family, and would like to say thank you for COCO’s support.
What are the plans for the future?
We plan to continued delivering sustainable agriculture training in the future, as a further 2,000 women in the surrounding communities could benefit from the project.
There is also a plan to build a resource centre to provide more training on sustainable agriculture to continue improving health, education and gender equality!