“Usually at this time, the gardens will be ready, and we will be preparing to plant. But now the rain may come in May. And if we plant then, the land may dry up again by June and we lose everything.
“It never used to be this way. It’s now three years since we started seeing delayed rains and poor harvests. What we do now is follow the water. We go to the river with watering cans.”
Doreen fears the future will be the same. “But we won’t give up. We will
keep on trying. Maybe one day, we will have a good harvest again.”
Dr Julius Adubango, Ripple Effect Project Coordinator, has been working closely with Doreen and families like hers.
“These are hungry months for them. But much as their situation seems dire, their lives would have been much worse if they had not been working with Ripple Effect.
“These communities were entirely dependent on fishing, which Doreen could not participate in. Now we have introduced farming, and all the villagers are growing vegetables and have a more balanced diet.
“During the rainy season they have some excess to sell and can save some money.
“We have introduced fast-maturing varieties of vegetables, and drought-tolerant seed varieties. Our training in composting, mulching and dry-season farming techniques reduces their dependency on rain-fed agriculture.