Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, November 25, 2010

When it works!

Many factors are important determinants of whether a project will turn out to be sustainable, or, unsustainable. The amount of time people have invested in the project is often considered to be one of those factors. But time is also essential to evaluating if the project has indeed become a sustainable operation. Because of the multitude of unknown factors which impact upon community development projects, only time will truly reveal whether the project has ‘worked’. Anyone working in the field of community development will tell you that they spend countless hours trying to devise ways to ensure a project will be sustainable and operate effectively; we also spend a considerable amount of time worrying about projects not working. But when they do work and you are there to see it it’s one of the most rewarding things to see.

-- The sign is still there... and so is the project! --

GVI in conjunction with a community based organization of ex-poachers in Kasaani village initiated a chicken farming project earlier this year. The purpose of the project was to provide ex-poachers in Kasaani with a sustainable alternative livelihood option and also to increase access to protein rich food sources in Kasaani village. The first stage of the project involved teaching the community how to care for chickens, recognize diseases and how to raise baby chicks. The second stage involved the construction of a chicken coop to house layers. The third stage was to raise a batch of baby chicks to become the first group of laying chickens. And, we have succeeded! The baby chicks are all grown up now and have started producing eggs. The community members from Kasaani have found markets for the eggs and are using the money earned to buy more food for the chickens and also to provide incomes to the ex-poachers involved in the project. I was fortunate enough to be in Kasaani recently and the first morning I woke up there I ran out into the chicken coop to check if the chickens had laid eggs (the community members had already told me that they had started laying eggs but I wanted to see it with my own eyes). One of the community members, David, was waiting at the chicken coop with a huge grin on his face – the chickens had laid a lot of eggs and he was so proud of what the group of ex-poachers had achieved with the project. And so was I! Thank-you to everyone who has been a part of making this project a success.