Total loan: $5,850

Kairuni Group

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Chogoria, Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya / Personal Use

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A loan helped to construct a biodigester.

Kairuni Group's story

Kairuni is a group of women farmers practicing potato and dairy farming. The members live in Meru, near Mt. Kenya in Eastern Kenya. The region is very productive for dairy farming due to the favorable weather conditions. Most families in the region have between two and ten cows, and therefore the sale of milk becomes their main source of income, alongside potato farming. The women of Kairuni are very hardworking and take care of their families from the little income they get. However, they are highly challenged when it comes to getting fuel for cooking. Their homes are not connected to the electricity grid, and purchasing LPG gas is too expensive for them. They therefore use firewood, charcoal, and kerosene for cooking and lighting. It costs between $25 and $58 US to purchase charcoal and kerosene each month, and firewood from the nearby forests is highly guarded and restricted to ensure conservation, so getting firewood is also a challenge. To overcome these challenges, VEP taught them that they could install biodigesters and use cleaner, better fuel that is also efficient without incurring on-going costs. To enable them to undertake this project, they have all benefited from this loan and construction has been initiated. With a biodigester, they will have increased savings that enable them to repay the loan and improve their lives. They can also spend more time with their families in place of the time previously spent collecting firewood. Bioslurry from the biodigester will also come in handy to replace commercial fertilizers in potato farming, hence increasing production and ensuring food security. The group is usually represented by Madam Amaria who is seated second from the left. She is the group chair and the most educated. She is also the one who motivates and urges the group to embrace change. with her leadership the group will grow through many other projects as well.