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Majimazuri.org Unveils Innovative 'Green' Farming
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Majimazuri.org Unveils Innovative 'Green' Farming

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Majimazuri.org has launched a green initiative in East Africa, utilizing available technologies, with the lowest impact on the environment.

The Maji Mazuri Kiserian project seeks to catalyze demand-driven green production and consumerism backed by a strong, green entrepreneurial transformation, dynamic design for environmental protection and a well coordinated community empowerment program.

According to Wanjiku Kironyo, the founder of Maji Mazuri, "Community development involves empowering people to meet the challenges of climate change. Last year East Africa experienced severe drought. It was a difficult time for us as a country and as the Maji Mazuri family."

Around the world, people are waking up to the reality that this fragile earth we live on needs to be preserved. Kenya is also becoming aware that it cannot take the environment for granted. Kenya watched it's neighbors in the horn of Africa suffer from a drought which, according to USAID, has killed two and a half times more than the earthquake in Haiti and the Tsunami in Indonesia combined. Kenya also finds itself in the worst environmental and economic crisis in generations. The impact of climate change has triggered an unprecedented public demand to undertake mitigation and adaptation measures to deliver proactive strategies geared towards sustainability.

In line with it’s mission of community development and empowerment, Maji Mazuri has sought to address the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation and wide spread poverty. With the assistance of The Rotary Club, Maji Mazuri sought to develop a well-coordinated, strategic and sustainable approach to champion green production.

The dream started almost 20 years ago, when Wanjiku Kironyo visited Kiserian, a dusty parched region south of Nairobi. Upon closer inspection, she realized the land was excellent for growing vegetables and fruits but lacked consistent water supply. 15 years later she had raised sufficient capital to purchase some land in the area. With the assistance of the Crosscurrents International and the Oswald foundation, funds to drill a borehole on Maji Mazuri’s land were obtained and an abundant supply of good quality water was found. A generator was purchased to pump the water. In addition, elevated water tanks were constructed, to farm water when it rained. With the pump and water tanks, farming commenced and Maji Mazuri was also able to provide much needed water- at a modest fee- to the local Maasai community whose cattle herds are often threatened by severe drought.

Kiserian was also established to rescue children at risk, and orphans. Also, in the Maasai community, girls are often married young, as a second, third, or fourth wife to a much older man. They are forced to leave school and have children. This girls are often isolated, illiterate and vulnerable to HIV. A girl in this situation, and her family are stuck in a cycle of poverty. For many, the solution is as simple as the opportunity to get an education, to enjoy lasting relationships or to develop skills and be able to use them to provide for others.

Maji Mazuri sought to rescue some of this girls and provide education, but the building where they were learning was paltry, and school supplies were scarce. The Rotary stepped in. In a joint effort of The Rotary Club of Dayton Ohio USA and The Rotary Club of Muthaiga (Nairobi) Kenya, the clubs took on this remarkable project with the primary goal of rescuing children at risk. In addition to a new school building and a clinic, the Rotary funded groundbreaking projects in green technology.

Currently the Kiserian project runs its activities on wind, solar and biogas energy.

As more funds are obtained, the area of irrigated cultivation will be expanded; the farm has great potential to make a major impact on Maji Mazuri Programs by producing a range of vegetables and fruit for consumption by the children’s, teachers and staff in the primary school, the Headstart Program in Mathare Valley and the Children’s Home in Kasarani. The project could also generate substantial income from the sale of cash crops in both the domestic and export markets. The neighboring farmer exports passion fruit to the UK. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the project could provide a facility for agri-business training specifically for marginalized youth - graduates of the primary school who are not going on to secondary school, for some of the youth in the Mathare Maji Mazuri youth group and for members of the local community.

The Kiserian project is an undertaking aimed at promoting and adopting green technologies for creation of Green Collar Jobs for youth. This project has the potential to be a poster child for the nation’s green initiatives (and the world), showcasing the efficient utilization of the available technologies, with the lowest impact on the environment.

Majimazuri.org is an online community for people who want to make a difference, making meaning and money. Maji Mazuri, which means “good water” in Swahili, is a social economic development program based in Kenya. Founded by Dr. Wanjiku Kironyo in 1984, the organization is composed of 4 interrelated programs: Education & Talent, Economic Empowerment, Community Development and Mental & Physical Health. The programs seek to address the root causes of poverty and focus on alleviating poverty by empowering people to bring about change in their own lives.

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