The Upanzi Wa Maisha (Plant for Life) program is a cooperative of famers of Rusinga committed on working towards independence and enhancing food security. The program was launched in March 2021. There are ten women farmers involved who are owing kitchen gardens. The funds for the kitchen garden was given as a loan. With the income generated, the loan will be passed on to ten more women farmers. Due to the long drought that hit Rusinga Island from the middle of last year 2021 until early this year 2022, it has not yet been possible for them to start paying back the loan as scheduled in the concept.
Despite the challenge they have made efforts to ensure that the kitchen gardens are utilized and currently they are all harvesting the local vegetables, onions, Sukuma wiki among other vegetables. Some of them have harvested maize and fruits like paw paws.
We have agreed that they will start paying back the loan for others to benefit from the same funds as soon as we start the long rainy season thus by May. In the month of March, 2022, the status of the gardens are as follows and the farmers had to say these from the program.