DISASTER MITIGATION & REHABILITATION PROJECT (DMRP II)

DMRP II Project started in August 2014 and will run till July 2015. The Project is being implemented in Tigithi Location, Laikipia East Sub-County in Laikipia County. Caritas Nyeri is implementing the project with support from Caritas Germany.

The aim of the project is to assist members of 500 households who are poor and vulnerable to build resilience to frequent drought by mobilizing them to adopt practical drought mitigation and adaptation initiatives.

Project Goal
Self sufficiency in food and income generation for 500 project beneficiary households in Tigithi location by July 2015.

Objectives
  • Promotion of Drought Escaping Crops (DEC’s) by free provision of seeds of suitable and zone specific crops to project beneficiaries for on farm establishment to achieve 100% adoption by the end of the project period.
  • Rain water harvesting:  We mobilize individuals and groups to excavate and construct 500 farm ponds and then we provide 32,000 M2 dam lining material to 500 beneficiaries.  We encourage all the beneficiaries to establish kitchen gardens under micro irrigation in each of the project beneficiaries’ homesteads
  • Enterprise diversification by promoting pasture establishment and rearing of KARI kienyeji chicken.
Target Beneficiaries
Households who are poor and vulnerable.

Focus Area
Tigithi Location, Laikipia East Sub-County in Laikipia County.

  1. Formation of 24 project beneficiaries groups that are fully registered by the department of Gender and Social Development.
  2. Capacity building    
  • Training on sound group management and institutional development.
  • Training on layout, construction, repair and maintenance of appropriate soil conservation structures.
  • Training project beneficiaries on pasture establishment, management and storage.
  • Training project beneficiaries on environmental protection and conservation, causes and effects of climate change and recommend appropriate actions and interventions to mitigate and adapt to them.
  • Train the 500 project beneficiaries on simple drip irrigation and on economical utilization of water.
  • Training project beneficiaries on overall farm management where farming is treated as a business with emphasis on value chain development.
  • Encourage beneficiaries and their groups to come together and boost each other’s capacity and orientation towards making improvement of their livelihoods. This to be done through one on one visit, members in various groups learning from each other, field days, farmer exhibitions, exposure visits outside the project area.
  1. Establishment of demonstration plots where Agricultural extension officers conduct trainings on suitable farming methods including crop species promoted under the project.
  2. Carrying out residential trainings where beneficiaries representatives are trained on important dry land farming techniques so that they can extend the same message to other members through peer training at their localities.
  3. Training on soil conservation to 8 teams of three persons each who conduct marking and layout of appropriate soil conservation structures on beneficiary farms to minimize soil erosion and improvement of soil moisture retention for higher farm productivity.
  4. Holding of regular group meetings and barazas where important messages relating to successful project implementation are shared with group members.
  5. Formation of community led monitoring and evaluation teams comprised of beneficiary members who are involved in regular farm visits to other beneficiaries to check on the pace and level of implementation of the project’s activities and gauge other beneficiaries orientation towards the project’s success.
  6. Wider integration and involvement of stakeholders and collaborators in the project activities for exploitation of synergies which will lead to success. Establish linkages within and without the organization as networks are diversified for better project outputs and outcomes.
  1. Higher adoption rates of activities under the project by beneficiaries with a corresponding improvement in a household’s food security.
  2. Rise in beneficiaries’ productivity in various occupations as a result of ready availability of food.
  3. Less concentration by beneficiaries on their preferred crops such as maize and beans in favor of drought escaping crops.
  4. All round supply of readily available vegetables at minimal cost to beneficiary households whereby costs are saved as well as enhancement of safety to especially women and girl child who are predisposed to danger as they go out looking for the said items at odd times.
  5. Broadening of Income sources for household heads from sale of surplus produce including sales from grass/hay and poultry products.

The project which is in its second year in the Tigithi location has brought forth the following positive changes in the lives of project beneficiaries:

  1. Greater appreciation, understanding and adoption of hitherto neglected crops among most project beneficiaries as they realize lost opportunities in their production for food security. The DEC’s introduced under the project have performed reasonably well as evidenced by reasonable quantities of produce harvested.
  2. Guaranteed and constant supply of fresh vegetables produced under simple drip irrigation technology.
  3. Environment protection and conservation by planting of tree species provided by the project.
  4. Soil and water conservation enhancement on beneficiary farms from setting and layout of appropriate soil and water conservation structures.
  5. Gaining of knowledge and skills on various agricultural technologies, group dynamics on mitigation and adaptation measures to build resilience to climate change by project beneficiaries from frequent capacity building trainings, extension services and through field days and group meetings.
  6. Sharing of ideas and experiences on farming and other coping strategies by community members from localities outside the project area through exposure visits.
  7. Replication of project interventions by other community members as well as scale up of same interventions by project beneficiaries.
  8. Adoption of pasture production by over 50% of project beneficiaries for own livestock.
  9. Wider stakeholder and collaborators’ involvement/inclusion in the project leading to the exploitation of synergies as well as better resource allocation and prudent utilization.
  10. More empowered beneficiary groups under the project developing fundable proposals addressing food security such as Irish potato production.
  11. Fall back sites for the sourcing of seeds and other propagation material from demonstration bulking/plots to project beneficiaries who lose their crop from crop failures.
  1. Frequent drought followed by frost during the night leading to crop failure.
  2. Pests including birds, millipedes and wildlife attacks on established crops leading to poor crop performance.
  3. High expectations from some project beneficiaries on the project for resources.
  4. Poor management of joint activities by some project beneficiaries.
  5. Lack of capital to invest in important farm inputs including fertilizer, pesticides and other agrochemicals necessary for raising crop yields.
  6. Over reliance on mechanization leading to low interest and confidence in grass production; most project beneficiaries harboring poor attitudes towards adoption of grass farming.

Beatrice Wanjiras’ Story.

Beatrice Wanjira is 44 years, and a resident of Reli village moved from Mathakwaini village Nyeri County to Laikipia in 2012 as a consequence of land pressure.  The land available had become uneconomical to farm and feed her family of 8 members.  She has six children of whom the youngest is 3 years old. When she moved to Reli village, she had very high hopes of making it due to the fact that the land was large (2 acres) hence she could plant and feed her family.  As the years progressed her hopes waned due to the fact that the maize and beans she planted kept on drying up due to frequent droughts affecting the area.
Beatrice reports that after the DRR project she had her life transformed.  After she was provided with a drip kit, she got into vegetable growing at her kitchen garden using water harvested from her roof trapped in a 2,300 litres capacity plastic water tank to feed her family. After consuming her share with her family, she sold vegetables to neighbours and customers from different corners of the project area amounting to Ksh 3,000. From seeds of drought tolerant crops provided by the project, she harvested 8kgs of B9 beans, 4kgs of cowpeas and 5kgs of Dolichos.

She consumes the crops while green as she ensures that she puts other portions of realized produce under safe storage as seed for planting in the following seasons. She says that previously she used to lack food to feed her children but since the project’s crop production initiatives, she has something to feed them. From the interventions made by the project Ms. Wanjira’s household has achieved a level of food security which will continue improving as she up scales on activities that were introduced under the project.

She was ranked second overall best project performer in a farm competition sponsored by the DRR project and she was awarded Ksh. 15,000. She plans to have 0.25 acres under drip irrigation and has already bought drip lines to make this possible. This is an upscale to the 100M2 kitchen garden initiated by the project.  Part of the money that she saved from the sale of produce and the cash received after winning a prize were used to purchase a dairy goat as well as for buying  materials for fencing her homestead.

She is really grateful to Caritas Nyeri for all the interventions that have restored her hopes in life after gaining confidence in her farming occupation as she states that it is possible to eradicate poverty and hunger if every community member will get fully involved in deliberate food production initiatives.

She asks ‘If I can be in a position to raise vegetables for my family consumption and afford a marketable surplus that is sold to people coming from as far as Mirera market, why should it be impossible for other project beneficiaries to do this if not even better?’

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Beauty Wairumus’ Farm pond in Male Village Tigithi. The farm pond is for harvesting of water for the Kitchen Garden.

 

Dolichos Lablam (Njahi) plants in Mrs. Ann Wairimus’ home in Ichuga D

Dolichos Lablam (Njahi) plants in Mrs. Ann Wairimus’ home in Ichuga D

Madam Lucy Kinyua displaying her harvested ready to be threshed B9 beans

Madam Lucy Kinyua displaying her harvested ready to be threshed B9 beans