An update on the Sustainable Agriculture Project

The Sustainable Agriculture Project was started by the foundation in 2010 to establish a model food garden that would be environmentally sustainable in the semi-arid land of the Tana Delta. It educates the local youth on methods of improving food security and alleviating poverty. With the newly acquired knowledge, they were expected to be catalysts in their rural communities, improving household nutrition and generating additional income. This benefits both the current and future generations, while promoting the sustainable and integrated development of communities.

The current batch of youths under formation have proven to be more responsible than their predecessors. The farm was flooded in May and June, and they spent many hours repairing and replanting. Through their hard work, there has been a great improvement in the farm in the short period between July to October 2013.

Flood damage - Tana River 2013

Goat house damaged by flood waters

Flood waters - Tana River 2013

Submerged Casuarina Plantation

Bananas lost to the floods

Bananas lost to the floods

They are now able to run the projects independently with minimum guidance while attending to all necessary maintenance tasks. Starting September 2013, two of our former beneficiaries have been providing them with technical training in poultry, bee, fish and livestock keeping. In addition they were sent to Malindi for a 1-day course in rabbit keeping. They plan to start that project by December 2013.

New Banana crop - post floods Oct 2013

New Banana crop – post floods Oct 2013

Repairing the farm house after the floods - Oct 2013

Building a Rabbit Pen after the floods – Oct 2013

Working the fields after the floods - Oct 2013

Replanting nappier grass ( livestock feed ) after the floods – Oct 2013

Repaired farmhouse - Oct 2013

Repaired goat house – post floods Oct 2013

We have since discovered that the project is an excellent tool in the formation of the moral character of the youths.

  • They learn and appreciate the benefits of hard work. It helps them understand that focused effort is required on their part to improve their lives.  Continual improvements through the adoption of modern and scientific methods are also important. It changes their attitudes towards sponsorships and donor assistance. They better understand the need for self reliance to improve their lives instead of just waiting for help to come along.
  • It also helps them learn to work together in small groups, and to be fair to and responsible to others. These are key lessons if they are to become community leaders in the future. Currently local communities lack honest and generous leaders. This project has helped to change that mind-set amongst the youth inculcating a greater spirit of fairness and generosity.
  • The project also gives them invaluable training in handling their own finances in a responsible way. From having to ask for money for a simple haircut, they have found themselves able to buy the first mattrese their mothers have ever had in their entire lives through the sale of vegetables. Many of them have been able to save and plan for their personal expenses, and regularly contribute to their families’ food budget.

The youths have discovered the importance of self-reliance and diligence towards achieving a better quality of life. They have learnt and internalized accountability.

The foundation is grateful to Wesley Methodist Church Singapore for their continued support on this project. If you are would like to find out more about this project, please contact us at tanariverlifefoundation@gmail.com .

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