Two thirds of Kenyans depend directly on agriculture for their living. Many young Kenyans struggle to find work, or only have low paid jobs.
Kitale is a poor, densely populated town within the Rift Valley Province, largely dependent on agriculture. Local farmers are suffering increasingly from serious environmental threats caused by habitat degradation, industrial waste, agrochemical pollution, and climate change. On top of this, high population growth increases environmental stress and reduces the amount of cultivatable land available. Most families in Kitale still cook with firewood, which has led to the decimation of forests. All of these factors have seriously reduced agricultural production, therefore increasing the strain on already poor households that depend on farming for their own food as well as for generating a small income. The youth of Kitale, unable to survive as subsistence farmers and lacking other vocational opportunities, are most affected.
What we are doing
In Kitale, North Western Kenya, we are working with local organisation OTEPIC (Organic Technology Extension and Promotion of Initiative Centre) to:
- Train disadvantaged youth to increase their income, model sustainable farming techniques, and introduce their communities to eco-technologies which reduce the need for unsustainable cooking fuel.
What we have achieved
We are very excited to be working with OTEPIC and although our partnership with OTEPIC only began in August 2013, we already have achieved the following:
- With our support, OTEPIC has been able to initiate it’s tree planting campaign, start its seed saving programme and the development of a tree nursery, with the aim being to provide environmental protection in the local area.
- We have provided funding to train disadvantaged youth in renewable energy technologies such as the construction of simple biogas digesters, as well as solar cookers.