Persistent drought drives Kajiado women to poultry
More than 2,500 Maasai women in Kajiado have benefited from a Sh8.5 million poultry farming project meant to mitigate drought in the vast county.
The improved indigenous poultry venture by Monsanto NGO in collaboration with Latia Resource Centre has seen the women undergo three months of training.
The beneficiaries have undergone rigorous training in ideal chicken rearing for commercial purposes to boost household incomes. The community relies on livestock keeping which has been affected by persistent droughts.
The project comes at a time when pastoralists in Kajiado are struggling to adapt to rising temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns and other effects of global climate change.
After training each woman was given five hens and starting capital to put up structures required and initial feeds to kick-start the project.
They have received 12,500 improved indigenous chicken in three months. The women, most had lost livestock to drought and had no means of earning a living, lauded the initiative saying it would turn their lives around.
They said the project had also boosted their food security as the hens mature fast and are capable of laying eggs daily.
“Livestock belongs to men who often squander money in towns after selling them.
“Women and children have been left vulnerable but this poultry project has come to give us economic freedom,’’ said Serah Tima of Mashuru village in Kajiado East Sub-County. The improved indigenous chicken are capable of laying large eggs regularly. The Maasai tradition that prohibits eating chicken meat has been the biggest barrier to women rearing the birds.
“Time has changed and it is important that women share the responsibility of providing for their families with their husbands.
“We have seen our women begin to provide too. We completely support the project,’’ said Shadrack ole Suiya of Olontulugum village.
“Our main aim is to ensure that they use poultry farming as an economic empowerment tool instead of relying to their husbands.