Nakuru County, meaning ‘a dusty place’ is located North-West of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, situated in the former Rift Valley province. Agriculture is seen to be the backbone of the county and it is here that the first of five International President’s Appeal projects is gathering momentum, working with the Mwihoko Women’s Group, supported by the SI Kenya Country and local stakeholders.

Implementing the targets in Sustainable Development Goals, 4, 5 and 6, the Mwihoko Project, based around a unique education and training programme, is generating opportunities for women and girls in leadership; creating sustainable food security to families; facilitating access to water and clean energy, and through these activities, developing opportunities for the economic growth.

We are delighted to announce that Phase one of the project is now nearing completion. Following a recruitment process, the Mwihoko Women Group, supported by SI Kenya Country and local partners, identified 74 women farmers to be leaders, participants, and beneficiaries of this transformative project.

The community resource centre was significantly upgraded to include a refurbishment and the setting up of a farming demonstration plot, which was equipped with technologies and tools required to provide high-quality and relevant training programmes to the women. A training programme was designed, and two water tanks and a water pan were installed and connected to a toilet building, resulting in the centre being fully water self-sufficient.

An immense amount of organising and hard work has taken place on the new demonstration plot; trees were planted, vegetable seed nurseries and beehives were installed, and subsequently, a two-day training session took place. The women were educated in farming techniques such as seed planting and double ploughing and a variety of crops were planted, all of which are in various stages of growth. Many of the vegetables are now ready to be harvested and thanks to the education and hands-on training provided, the women are now farming at least five different crops on their individual farms and receiving much higher yield than ever before.

The first phase of the project is considered a significant success. The women no longer need to buy their vegetables for home consumption and are instead harvesting their own vegetable crops to feed themselves and their families. Grains planted are expected to be harvested in two-months-time.

SI Kenya Country is working on the project with four SI clubs: SI Nakuru Club, SI Millimani Club, SI Karen Blixen Club and SI Maseno Club.