Since The Maa Trust launched the Healthy Nutrition & Kitchen Gardens Project in Maasai Mara, many women have started their own kitchen gardens. We paid Kimererio Soit a visit to her home, where she has created a kitchen garden to feed her family and earn money. An interview with her is provided below.
Isen Sitatian-Gender Project Officer
“Did you have any experience with kitchen gardening prior to the I&M training in Healthy Nutrition & Kitchen Gardens?”
Kimererio Soit-Beneficiary in Inkamuriak
“No, I had no experience with a kitchen garden or farming, which is why I was so eager to start my own Sukuma (kales) kitchen garden right after the training.”
“What are some of the benefits you've noticed since starting your own kitchen garden?”
“I can feed my family a nutritious meal of Sukuma (kales) and Ugali. I sell Sukuma and use the proceeds to purchase the flour. The kitchen garden has also helped me to start and grow a sugar-selling business. This business serves 20 households, with an average of 5 people per house. It provides me with approximately Kshs. 250 ($25) per day."
“Did you have any other source of income prior to starting the kitchen garden?”
“Yes, I am a Maa Beadwork member in Inkamuriak group. However, because of the Covid-19 outbreak, beading work has decreased. This is because we rely on The Maa Trust to sell our products to tourists in camps around Maasai Mara, but tourists are few if any due to the pandemic, so we don't get much.”
“What are some of the difficulties you face when it comes to kitchen gardening?”
“The main challenges are two: water scarcity and wild animals.
The Maa Trust's rainwater harvesting project is 40-1 hour away from where I live. As a result, I end up going to a river that is closer than the project. We face human-wildlife conflict along the river (including my neighbors) because animals drink from it, also the water is unfit for human consumption.
During the night, I am forced to be vigilant and wary of any movement outside my home because elephants are known to trump and feed on anything green, so I must protect my kitchen garden with a torch to keep them away, which is extremely dangerous.
As women, we request assistance in obtaining chain link fencing to encircle our small kitchen gardens and predator deterrent lights to keep elephants at bay at night.”
“Can you tell me about your future plans?”
“I have been and will continue to be a wildlife ambassador. I want my grandchildren to understand the importance of the environment and wildlife, as well as how to coexist peacefully with them. As a result, I've started a tree nursery next to my kitchen garden. I intend to sell the seedlings and plant trees around my house to provide shade for my family while also protecting the environment.”
“What advice do you have for other women in Maasai Mara?”
“I'd like to encourage them to embrace the kitchen garden project. This is due to the fact that it requires little capital to start while providing high returns and healthy nutrition to the family. It also gives me confidence and independence as a woman; before, I had to rely on my husband for everything, including airtime, which he sometimes tells me he doesn't have. At the moment, I am able to not only buy my own airtime but also contribute to household expenses, earning my husband's admiration and respect.”
The Maa Trust (TMT) launched Healthy Nutrition & Kitchen Gardens Project in Maasai Mara in April 2021. Pastoralism is the main source of income and livelihood for most of the Maasai Mara communities. Families in these communities are therefore forced to purchase all agricultural products for consumption. With their way of life, lack of nutrition information, and high poverty levels, these communities are highly affected by malnutrition.
The project aims to contribute to the health and well-being of families in Maasai Mara, TMT is training 500 women in the region on healthy nutrition and kitchen garden development skills. These women represent a household. Using an estimate of 5 persons per household, the project will impact 2500 people.
To partner with The Maa Trust to continue supporting these families, click here to donate or send an email to, email@example.com.