anbi wilde ganzen
Rek.nr.: IBAN NL41 RABO 0328 2695 30
BeeSupport, Amsterdam

Kenya: Kesogon

Kesogon Self Help Group in Kenya (Kesogon)

The BeeSupport Foundation has supported the Kesogon Self Help Group in Kenya since 2005. Its first donation was for the nursery and orchard.

Since the spring of 2006, a community centre is being built with funds raised during a sponsored run by the primary school, 't Startblok in Ede (Netherlands). Basic training and monthly follow-up courses for beekeepers will be given in the hall and classroom annex.

History

The village of Kesogon lies at a height of 1830 m on the western boundary between Kenya and Uganda, near the 4321 m high Mt. Elton and 25 km from the town of Kitale. The area has two rainy seasons: April to August and November to December.

For a long time, agriculture and dairy farming were the villagers' main source of income. They grew maize, beans, coffee and tea. The price for maize and coffee, however, has gone down and the price of seed and artificial manure has risen.
The land is exhausted and there is ongoing erosion because too many trees have been cut for firewood and building. The farmers' families are no longer able to sow and harvest sufficient crops. Many men and young people go to the towns to find alternative work. The women, children and old people remain behind in the village.

In order to turn this hopeless situation around, the women and young people formed the Kesogon Self Help Group as a community project for starting various activities.
A nursery for replanting and sale, a small-scale irrigation system for the fields and vegetable gardens, a sewing-group for women and a course for beginning beekeepers with all the necessary facilities.

Peter Ukiro Otengo

The secretary of the group is Minister Peter Ukiro Otengo. He grew up in Kesogon and learnt the basics of beekeeping from his grandfather.
When he heard, in a radio programme, how beekeeping helped poor farmers in other countries to make a living, he decided to take this up seriously. Up to now, he has experimented with local household pots of clay, with varying success. In order to increase production, he now wants to work with top bar hives and frame hives.
Peter will organise monthly course days for the new beekeepers and provide guidance for the inspection of hives and the harvest.

For his own schooling, he is taking a course in the setting up of a beekeeping business at the Kenyan Agricultural College Baraka.
Since the start of the project in 1996, Peter has made many attempts to raise funds for it and has succeeded in setting up a network of helpful friends.