'My name is Mohamed Ismail and I am 25 years old. I have 1 wife and 4 children between the ages of two to three. I am from Butiye village, near Moyale Town of Moyale District in Eastern province of Kenya. I am a member of a poultry keeping group since I completed my secondary school in the year 2005. I joined Ibse Biashara group due to lack of jobs opportunities we had as youth to make money for our families. We combined our effort to improve our livelihood through group contribution as good fortune and good health is what everyone needs in their lives. While working together in Moyale we have seen that the Ibse Biashara group is reaching out to this good fortune. Ibse (meaning Light in Borana) group was started in 2006 with 15 members who remain till today.' The group consists of only youth who are now self employed.
'As single member of the group I have received loans to start my own businesses and new technology based on the mobile money transfer system M-pesa which has boosted my family daily bread' Mohamed tells us. The group has 76 Broiler chickens which supply five trays of eggs daily to the cross-border markets in Moyale. This gives the groups a profit of KES 500 a day which is saved till the end of the month then shared out.
Care International in Kenya in its Regional Resilience Enhancement against Drought (RREAD III) project assisted the group with the construction and expansion of a poultry house in Moyale town of Keny, thus enabling the group to increase their high quality poultry production thus enhancing group capacity to respond to current drought emergencies. Mohamed goes on, 'The number of broilers chicken that we keep to day has doubled up to 154 and the numbers of egg trays supplied has increased from 5 to 15 and supply has increased both in Kenya and Ethiopia these has impacted on all of the members as there are always new challenges in every business set up. While the groups have tried their hardest to become completely self-sustaining in their endeavors, challenges have paved the road of good intentions. During drought they are forced to feed the poultry with human food such as maize meal, and this is very expensive. There is no specific chicken feed locally available to them and they only depend on Importing Chicken feeds from Nairobi. Oftentimes, the groups have to make the treacherous journey to Adisababa Ethiopia to buy chicken feed. Their chicken coops are not too high off the ground to allow for easier access, but this means that during floods, the coops are destroyed and there is the risk of losing the chickens as well. Finally, the groups do not have the necessary knowledge to be able to treat their chickens incase of sickness, and have to rely on expensive drugs available only in Nairobi as DVOS office luck chicken treatments.'
Although they are faced by many challenges their lives have improved greatly after they were trained on how to handle their chickens, 'Our chickens are now fat than the way they were before the training ' says member Mr. Zalako
At home, they are able now to help each other in various difficulties such as during marriage, incase of death, school fee problems and other social emergencies issues as a result of their production and selling of chicken and eggs supply to interested people. Groups have secured an account with equity bank in Moyale town. If possible they would want to be assisted with more resources as most things in their region are been done by youth while men tend to lean more towards pastoralist ventures.
These youth show us that the human story is one of a struggle that will surely bear fruit!