Nagayo Jaldesa 1 Self-Help Group, Steadfast in Building Resilient Community

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In Jaldesa village on the eastern arid slopes of Saku Sub-county of Marsabit County, a group of community members gathered together in June 2016 to form Nagayo Jaldesa 1 self-help group after which a few of their group members were trained in soap making, others in poultry keeping and kitchen gardening technics by Caritas Marsabit under Climate Resilient Agriculture respectfully funded by Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD). Their drive and enthusiasm has seen them put their newly learnt skills in Kitchen Gardening, soap, jelly making and poultry farming into work. The group members formed 3 small groups each group consisting of members with different skills. The group members are committed to taking care of their projects which they believe is the beginning of greater things and development for their community that got united far back in the year 2009 because of plenty of water in the area. [caption id="attachment_984" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Nagayo Jaldesa 1 members demonstrating soap making process to Caritas Marsabit field officers [/caption] “I am very happy our soap making project is running well, and so far so good the results and sales have increased tremendously despite some few challenges here and there” Halima Halakhe said heartedly. “In addition to the training by caritas Marsabit at Jirime hotel, we were also provided with materials to start our venture, we started the production immediately but we lost a few liters of our soap due to lack of proper storage and the scorching sun. We requested again to Caritas Marsabit to help us get a production and storage facilities and sure enough they built us a house that we use for both soap making and holding group meeting.” “We have sold a total of 500 liters here locally and the demand is getting high every day. People are appreciating our products and we have seen an upward sell in our soap. We are now thinking of registering our business and acquiring a trading license so that we can expand our business to other neighboring villages like shurr, Badassa and Marsabit town.” Tume Abata said. According to the group member they have so far sold soap worth eighteen thousand Kenya Shillings with about 100 liters of soap left for sale. “We have also started producing jelly that need both quantity and quality standardization before we release to our customers here in Jaldesa, We will first sell it locally here and expand to other areas in future. We were received good feedback from our local customers.” She added This group is a very ambitious group with good future plans like producing products like body lotions for their customers. [caption id="attachment_993" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Wilfred Letawa (Caritas Marsabit, Communication Assistant) Receiving Kales from Tume Abata one of the group members[/caption] “Dalach Malicha marvels at the Nagayo Jaldesa 1 self-help group shade net project “the project is going well so far and the community is reaping our hard work and dedication to this project.” He says. Sukuma (Kales), unlike the tomatoes that is affected by diseases, pests and insects is doing well. We have made several harvests with a saving of KShs 8,000. With this money we will be able to buy more seeds of different vegetable variety, pesticides and insecticides and even invest in the long run.” The group members have been working in pairs on shift basis to water and work on the shade net. However they all participate in harvesting which is once a week. On weekly basis they have been able to produce at least 25 bundles of Sukuma which they sell here locally at a price of KES 50 a bundle. “I’m grateful that we have something that will not only grow us individually but also our community. We as group will maintain unity to ensure we grow together and be a pillar to our community.”  “Caritas Marsabit Have also provided us with water tanks which we use for storage during dry seasons like now. As we approach the rainy season we plead to Caritas Marsabit and any other well-wisher to help us installing gutters around our hall.” Dalacha added. [caption id="attachment_983" align="alignnone" width="800"] Nagayo Jaldesa 1 posing for a photo near Water Tank and soap making and storage facility provided by Caritas Marsabit to Nagayo Jaldesa 1 self-help group[/caption] The ‘luku’ (chicken) projects is picking up though they lost a few of them at the beginning due to diseases and predictors but the project has been doing good. Some members have lost most of their chicken but for a good number of them they are reaping their successful work through selling of cockerels and eggs. “Our chicken are now managed under open range and wander off a lot to predators like mongoose, if we can get kuku-mesh for protection and control our poultry business will definitely get better.” Halima one of the poultry beneficiaries says. “They have started to lay eggs which we will sell in time to generate income. With this money, we should be able to buy more feeds and medications. Being a pastoral community, 15 members of Nagayo Jaldesa 1 Self-help Group were given 3 goats each. Now they have multiplied the goats with the highest having 7 goats in total. According to some of the goat beneficiaries they are now enjoy milk, meat as well as cash for school fees, food, and medication. “We are benefitting from the projects and at the moment we are looking to take care of our projects. Collective effort is important and each member will take part in these projects to their success and the success of the Community. These projects are rays of hope for members of this community. With the group’s enthusiasm, there is more to be expected as the project grows and gives opportunity to others alternatives livelihood activities for the group.” Dibo wako said heartedly.  Through the sustainable Livelihood Program, Caritas Marsabit provided capacity building for Self-help group to enhance their production skills through skills driven workshops in Sustainable agriculture, micro finance, small business enterprise to build a safer, resilient and sustainable community through improving food security measures and encouraging village business start-ups.   Story by: Wilfred Letawa (Communication Assistant, Caritas Marsabit)  ]]>