We’ve tried to plant maize three times at Rapha Community Center in the past year. Each time it seemed like the rains were on the way, we’d plant, but the rains never came. All of our attempts ended in failure.
This is the same experience so many farmers are experiencing across Kenya. The International Rescue Committee estimates that severe drought and the cumulative effects of six failed rainy seasons will leave 5.4 million people across Kenya without access to adequate food and water from March to June this year.
It was impossible to ignore this crisis on my recent trip. Rapha Community Center was completely dry. The only green you could see were the parts of our farm we are able to irrigate or water by hand. Unfortunately, we would run our well dry if we tried to irrigate our whole farm and provide water for our children too.
The situation is dire, but thanks to our recent green initiative and the knowledge shared by our recent visitors, we now have the tools to implement regenerative agriculture practices into our farm. Simply by rotating where our cows and animals graze using a portable fence system, we will be able to give our soil a chance to rest. This will improve soil health, increase biodiversity and ultimately make our future crops more productive and resistant to the effects of drought. That is a very basic explanation and I encourage you to go watch the movie Kiss the Ground to learn more.
We implemented this practice in February. The positive change can already be seen. Our cows are healthier, milk production has increased and we can see the change in our soil. As we face an uncertain rainy season once again, we are grateful to the Ziehm family and all who donated to this initiative for giving us the opportunity to adapt and persevere no matter what challenges we face as a community.
Jennifer Musick Wright
Executive Director & Founder
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