Joyce’s Farm Pond Strengthens Her Family’s Resilience

Joyce’s four-acre farm is in one of the driest areas in her county, but this single mother of six is growing enough to feed her family and sell surplus for income. As recently as 2015 she was an aid recipient, but she declared she would not be in the same situation the next time a needs assessment was conducted.

And she meant it. She and her eldest son dug a farm pond in just six months, and received a liner from the Kenya Red Cross.  When the rains came in the fall of 2017, the groundwater runoff into the pond was enough for her to use for targeted drip irrigation on individual plants.

The program’s focus is on sustainable agriculture, so she chopped a number of 6’ x 4’ holes called zai pits into the packed soil, filled them with organic matter, and planted a kitchen garden. The captured rainwater, irrigation and compost produced impressive results. Her tomatoes, spinach, okra, kale, onions and yams did so well that, in addition to improving family meals, they provided enough money to get her children in school and cover farm expenses.

Thanks to Your Support and Generosity
Joyce’s once-arid farm operation now includes terracing for soil and rainwater retention.
The operation has become a center of excellence for the program and area farmers receive training there on kitchen gardening and conservation agriculture techniques.
Joyce is not worried about the timing of rainfall now. She knows as long as there is water in her farm pond, she will be able to produce food.

Kenya Makueni Program
Led by Lutheran World Relief


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