My community is extremely grateful for the purchase of the mill that grinds our cassava into flour to make many food products ranging from donuts to cakes. By having the flour available, these products can be made and sold at a profit resulting in the income of our community increasing greatly. I am not through though. My goal is to keep working to help my community to be as prosperous as possible.
We have been learning many lessons. One has to do with the processing of cassava. Before cassava flour is milled, cassava tubers are first chopped and dried. Farmers in the area have been using some rather unhygienic means. They have been spreading the cassava chips on gunny bags and drying in the sun. This exposes the cassava into all manner of contamination especially dust.
Fortunately, this will now be history. Farmers have started fabricating driers. They are making these driers from cheap and readily available materials. Cassava chips are dried in these covered driers. This goes a long way in improve hygiene standards of the food. The covers are intentionally dark to absorb more heat thus quickening and making the drying process more efficient..
Thank you for your continued support to improve food security and the local economy in my village.
The Cassava revolution in our village has not only boosted food security but also income generation. As you may recall, cassava is a perfect crop for our arid region as it is both highly nutritious (for human and livestock consumption) and drought resistant.
Entrepreneurial residents have been making various cassava products.
A remarkable case is Lydiah who even has a fabricated machine that she uses to chop raw cassava tubers into small pieces after which she deep fries and sells as cassava chips.
Lydiah, who on the photo, is operating the machine, earns between Kshs.1,000 to Ksh.2,000 ($15-30) daily from the sale of cassava chips.
She says," I have been selling the cassava chips just within the village but I have a vision to expanding my target market to other areas particularly the urban centres.
Mary, a mother of three, is one of the many farmers who readily embraced the cassava project from its inception.
In 2011, she received 100 cuttings for planting in her own farm. She planted these on a 1/4 acre plot.
Over the years, she has enlarged this to an acre. Mary produces about 20 tons annually. She mills a big amount of her produce into flour for her family's consumption and animal feeds for her livestock. The rest, she sells to traders.
She says that cassava has proved not only nutritious but also economical in the wake of soaring food prices.
Our cassva project continues to help many rural people improve their lives.
Bidii farmers group from Nyeri, a county that neighbors ours, have immensely benefited from our project. Their area is equally arid and have been finding it difficult to continue with vegetables farming due to recurring crop failure. Two years ago they heard about the achievements of our cassava project, aired on a local radio station.
They got in touch with us to learn more about cassava farming. We were happy with their desire to learn and donated to them a few cuttings to plant.
Currently, the group boasts of a 5-acre cluster farm under cassava and aiming to increase the acreage. They are already reaping big in terms of improved food security and increased income through sale of cassava tubers.
Captured in the photo, is the group in their cassava farm.
We are also working on raising additional funds for a borehole that would bring needed water to this dry area.
First, receive our thanks for generously assisting us to fight food insecurity and poverty in our project through our cassava project. The project has reduced hunger and farmers now have a new and more reliable source of income in the wake of climate change - induced droughts.
As we have reported previously, having tackled the hunger problem to a notable extent, we now set our eyes on addressing the problem of water scarcity. Both of these problems stem from the increased incidences of droughts. People in the village are forced to trek long distances in search of water. In the process, wasting a lot of time that would have been utilized in gainful economic activities. Additionally, the only water available is from open wells, prone to contamination. This has lead to occasional outbreaks of water-borne diseases.
As a community, we plan to drill a borehole that would serve as a source of clean water for domestic use. This would serve a great deal in safeguarding the health of locals, improving educational standards by freeing children to learn and enabling women to participate longer in bettering their families' welfare rather than spend the better part of the day in search of water. It is for this purpose that we kindly request for your continued support.
Many thanks for your generosity,
Maragua Division, Kenya
As a community, we express our sincere gratitude for your assistance towards alleviating the socio-economic challenges that we face.
We indeed appreciate your support for our cassava project. The crop has proven to be an answer to the problem of food insecurity in the area.
Cassava has been adopted fully by the locals as an alternative crop for human and livestock consumption. Presently, over 7,500 families are cultivating and utilizing the crop. All these have received cassava planting materials through the project. The mill, which you helped us acquire, is effectively grinding the cassava into flour. The mill was purchased and installed at 7,400 US dollars, from your generous contributions. It now operates sustainably as a social enterprise!
As listed on our GlobalGiving page, the other challenge bedevilling us is water scarcity. We are already making strides towards providing a source of clean water for our people by 2016. We plan to drill borehole water for domestic and irrigation uses. This is after a hydrological survey that was conducted confirmed the viability of tapping underground water in the area. The project is now duly registered with the relevant state agencies. The locals have already started making contributions towards the project. We will also be seeking support from various donors.
Thank you again for your continued support!
Attached herewith is a scan for the registration certificate for our water project
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