Monday, August 31, 2009

Liesbeth in Kenya: drought on the horizon

Day 3
Project visits

We left our hotel early and headed out of Nairobi to the country side, to visit one of Oikocredit’s existing clients, Olkejuado. The teachers SACCO (savings and credit co-operative organization) is based in Kajiado, a few hours from the capital. The members of Olkejuado are scattered throughout the region.

The first Olkejuado client we visited was 46-year-old Lukas Matheka. Mr Matheka has been with Olkejuado for over 23 years with and is one of the founders of the SACCO. He is a primary school principal and runs a small cerials shop. He currently has his fifth SACCO loan of KES 500,000 (€4,700). He uses the loans for the development of his shop where his wife is working. The cereals come mainly from his land. Next to this he sells herbs, including stinging nettle which is good for blood pressure and general health. Country managers Edith and Carol were convinced and bought some of Mr Matheka's healthy herbs.

Mr Matheka explained to us that while the business was running well, they faced a severe drought that could influence the cereal supply, and consequently, the price levels and purchasing power of the community. The drought is a wide spread problem across Kenya and the East African region.

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