After being granted £100,000 by the Guernsey Overseas Aid Commission in May 2014, the Kenyan charity project, supported by the Ellen Jane Rihoy Trust, has already made significant progress. The project, focused in the Segera and Laikipia counties, is intended to conserve the environment and improve the livelihoods of around 14,770 people.
Activity will run over a three-year period and the objectives for year one are to increase food security and enhance the economic status of the community. With around 46% of the local population living below the poverty line, it is imperative that modern agricultural technologies are introduced and farmers are educated so that household food production can be increased for generations to come. For example, drip irrigation systems covering four acres of land, including a local school, have been installed.
Many other activities have taken place over the last few months including tree nursery planning and crop establishment with around 30 community members taking part in the project. Over 100 people have already received basic training and an all-important monitoring and evaluation plan is in place to measure the project’s progress.
The Ellen Jane Rihoy Trust was set up by Dr Liz Rihoy, her brothers Gavin and Jeremy and their mother, Jane. The charity was set up in loving memory of their father John. Their partnership with the Zeitz Foundation has given their charity the opportunity to provide aid to overseas communities. The Foundation develops and implements best practice across community, culture, commerce and conservation projects in Kenya. Dr Rihoy is the Executive Director of the Foundation, which is partnered by the Ellen Jane Rihoy Trust.
‘The progress that has been made so far is extremely encouraging,’ says Gavin Rihoy, Managing Director of Rihoy & Son. ‘Our aim is to make a real difference to the lives of those who are struggling to feed their families and make a living due to the derelict nature of the land around them. The idea is that once the project is completed, the local people will continue to maintain the systems we have introduced, resulting in a truly worthwhile investment for their future.’
Identifying more people to deal in crop trading, providing further training and introducing additional trees and irrigation installations are among the next activities planned for the volunteers. The second stage of year one is due to be completed by the end of April 2015.
Posted: 24 February 2015