Appeal to raise £13,000 for project to help Thika farmers battling climate change
“Rain only fell for two weeks in April, the crops failed and everyone now goes hungry, relying on food aid, hoping next season will be better.”
Brian and Jane Inwood, from Christow, are part of the Diocese of Exeter link team with Thika Diocese in Kenya.
They are passionate about highlighting the problems people in the province of Thungururu face battling the changing climate and lack of rainfall.
They say the Farming God’s Way project there is helping farmers to feed their families by training them to use conservation farming techniques, for example the sack garden which uses waste kitchen water to grow vegetables all year round.
Their aim is to raise £13,000 to keep the project going.
The money will pay for the project officer, Julius Kimondo, to keep training farmers in conservation techniques.
The goal is to train 200 “Champion Farmers” who will, in turn, train other farmers in their area.
Florence Chandi is one of the Thungururu farmers who has done the training course.
She said: “Before the programme we did not have enough food for ourselves but now we are farming God’s Way we have seen a lot of change.
“We have more food and I’ve been taught to grow different things.
“I grow bananas and keep bees, which help with cross pollination and increase the yield.
“I’m encouraging other farmers to come along so we learn more about farming God’s Way.
She appealed for the project officer to be able to keep working so the farmers could keep “improving lives together.”
Jane said: “Thungururu district is in the semi-arid area of Thika where there are no permanent rivers.
“Rainfall is increasingly unreliable and people are often dependent on food aid.
“Water harvesting to catch the little rain that falls and keep it in the soil, can beat the drought. So can conservation farming techniques.
“These include mulching the soil and digging trenches to catch rainwater and channel it into the soil.
“Farmers are also taught to grow a wider variety of crops and choose some that are more drought resistant.
“All this knowledge is spreading hope and reducing the ‘hunger gap’ in the community.”
Brian and Jane are appealing to churches and church members in Devon to help raise £13,000 towards training 200 farmers and employing the Farming God’s Way project officer Julius Kimondo for the next 18 months.