The Shisele Group recently began farming a small plot next to the River Yala in Kenya, using a foot-powered water pump provided by Village Enterprise.
A regular source of water allows the group to farm year-round, even during the traditional dry January-to-March season.
In January, group members began harvesting kale; tomatoes followed in mid-February. They recently delivered two 90-kilo sacks of kale to a local school.
To save on transportion costs, four group members carried the produce 5 km to the school, each bearing half a sack–about 100 pounds!–on his head.
The group has realized an immediate benefit from the business: their families now enjoy three modest meals each day instead of two. The group
purchases beef only once every other month, and most of the earnings will go toward school fees for their children.
The water pump is a real time-saver. It used to take all five group members four hours to water their field by bucket. Now the new water pump lets
two group members water all the crops in an hour and a half!
Looking forward, they plan to expand and have identified a half-acre plot downstream. They hope to save enough profit to improve their homes,
which are currently made in the local fashion, with mud walls and grass thatch roofs. All in all, the foot-powered water pump has brought them profit–
and extra time–to help improve their lives and care for their families.
To increase income of businesses, Village Enterprise disseminates pro-poor technologies to those most in need.
Two-thirds of Village Enterprise business owners are women.
75% of Village Enterprise businesses are still in operation after 4 years.