By Loreen Maingi
Lonyookita Self-Help Group is one of the vibrant community development groups found in Entasopia in the larger Nguruman area. It begun in June 2010 with the aim of uniting and developing to enable them address challenges that faced them in the society. The group is composed of thirty elderly members.
During its inception the group had in mind a number of projects which include, dairy goat keeping and indigenous poultry farming. Members settled on poultry project and agreed that each member brings two chicks to be reared in one place for easy management.
In one of their regular meetings, a group member fronted the idea of rearing up-graded chicken found in Kikuyu area of Kiambu County. The members agreed to buy 120 chicks at Ksh 90 each. They contributed Ksh 200 each and sent two of their members to the breeder where they made down payment and after one month, they were able to collect their one day old chicks.
|Poultry reared by Lonyookita|
(Photo:Sam Nzioka | NCV)
Initially the group members had little knowledge on poultry keeping and mostly relied on their local knowledge to raise the chicks. Little did they know that the poultry breed needed special attention since it was bred in a different environment. As a result of this diseases begun to affect the poultry. They tried to give them the normal procedural vaccinations but they seemed not to cure the complications the poultry had and within no time, the group lost more than half of the chicks and this forced them to seek help from experts on the cause and how they can prevent further deaths.
Nguruman Maarifa being the only information hub around was at hand to help. One of the members visited the centre and sought information on how they can address the problem. The member was referred to the Livestock Extension Officer (LEO) who visited the group and advised them on how to change their feeding and maintain housing hygiene. Within two weeks, the group was able to address the challenge.
The remaining poultry was reared until they matured. The surviving poultry were later sold at Ksh1, 400 while eggs were sold at Ksh. 20 each.
Nguruman Maarifa centre staff visited the group during outreach activities where their information gap was identified and referred to LEO. The group is currently undergoing training on poultry keeping and anticipates that, after the training, they will be able to redo their project and realize a remarkable profit.