TRANSFORMING LIVES THROUGH INCREASED CROP PRODUCTION FOOD
My name is Mary Shuel Kukuya. I’m 30 years old and a single mother of 5 children. I am a resident of Leparua a village in Isiolo County where I have lived since birth. The name Leparua in my Dorobo community means a tree. As you can see, we have a lot of trees here. Similarly, my name Kukuya means straight. I hail from a pastoral community which primarily relies on livestock for sustenance. Therefore, my most prized possessions are goats. I usually have a busy day. On week days, my day starts with preparing breakfast for my children after which I send them to school. The rest of the morning is dedicated to household chores such as cleaning and fetching water. In the afternoon, I go out to look for casual work in farms. I have been doing casual work for the last 8 years. Casual labour is rare in this especially during periods of severe dry spell.
For a long time, we have suffered recurrent food shortages. The situation was felt most during severe droughts when livestock which are the main source of food security either die or are moved to far flung areas in search of pasture. The impact of food shortages in our area is manifested by among others in drop out from schools, migrations and conflicts among ourselves and from our neighbours.
However, since the introduction of IIFS Project in the area in July 2015, my family’s food situation has dramatically changed for the better. I consider myself lucky to have been selected as one of the project’s beneficiaries. Through the project’s Livelihood/DRR component, I and my friends were trained on crop husbandry and subsequently given certified seeds. We employed the skills and knowledge acquired from the training in cultivation of food crops. The result of our hard work is a bumper harvest of food crops namely water melon, kales, and tomatoes sufficient for family consumption and sale. Now I can pay school fees for my children. I never imagined that one time I shall comfortably feed my family through farming besides having a reliable source of income. I and my friends plan to expand cultivated area because we have seen the benefits of crop production.
I’m very grateful to the donor of this project (CAFOD) for helping us live dignified lives through the project’s various activities.