Once we raise sufficient additional funds, we will begin, in collaboration with the Village Council, to plan an irrigation system to be supplied by the well(s). If a second well is not necessary, we will proceed to this more quickly.
Irrigation will allow fuller exploitation of the rich soils in the area and therefore much more productive farming. Further, according to a report by the Institute For Development Studies in Kenya titled Agriculture Issues in Kenya: Issues and Processes (University of Nairobi, 2006), Kenya would be more productive if farmers produced more non-traditional commodities; i.e., crops in specialized niches like herbs, spices, fruits, flowers and even lean grass-fed beef. There is also a great potential for fish farms that has not been exploited.
As a future effort of the eventual economic cooperative we hope to help establish we envision two aquaculture projects: A fish farm and a greenhouse with a hydroponic vegetable garden. Tilapia fish farms provide an inexpensive source of high quality protein and are becoming very popular in the Lake Victoria Basin due to the high water table near the Lake, and the limited amount of labor required. Tilapia provides protein both for local consumption and for commercial sale to provide income for residents. Water that percolates through, and is naturally filtered by, the greenhouse can be recaptured and provide another source of clean water for livestock.We also hope to undertake the following:
- Funding permitting, we will also seek partner agencies to help us focus on addressing community health problems, such as endemic malaria and HIV. In the meantime, we plan soon to begin providing vitamins to children, as WHO research shows this to be highly beneficial in areas of poor nutrition. (http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2011/05/23/WHO-drafts-plan-to-improve-child-health/UPI-23701306201014/)
- In order to fund future projects we will make personal appeals to faith organizations and others and will also embark on a grant-writing campaign aimed at corporations and foundations that support projects in Africa. We will also continue staging benefits in the form of various Kenyan musical/cultural events such as the one we did in March 2011 that raised $1000. We also plan to stage the BBC award-winning play Street People by a friend of our project the Kenyan playwright Ben Ateku.
- We will also be researching ways of beginning a cooperative by looking to other models around Kenya and consulting other groups that have established cooperatives there.
- As we assess the changes that come from providing clean water and evaluate the kinds of projects that can be built directly and indirectly upon providing clean water, we also plan to develop a more streamlined project model that we can take to other communities.