dws-justdiggit-masai-seeds2-770px-1The grass will look green… when collaborating with a women’s group. The Maasai women in Kuku, Kenya, are working hard maintaining and continuously improving the grass seed banks. Foundation JustDiggit shared this message at International Women’s Day on 8 March.

dws-justdiggit-masai-women-seasons-400pxBy digging bunds in the gorund, it is possible to catch the rainwater and make vegetation grow in dried up areas, like in Kuku, Kenya.

Return of vegetation
JustDiggit works with local teams in several African countries on large scale landscape restoration projects, retaining rainwater for vegetation and preventing erosion, flooding and land degradation.

One of their projects is in Kuku, Kenya, where 72,000 half-moon pits have been dug in the dried up grounds (bunds). These bunds catch the rainwater so vegetation returns.

Selling grass seeds
The Masaai women harvested grass seeds and used it partly to grow new grass in the bunds. Another part of the seeds was sold, meaning income for the women.

JustDiggit expects that if the women sell even more seeds in the future, they will create a sustainable market and will take advantage of the growing economic value.

dws-justdiggit-bee-hives-350pxBy selling grass seeds, the Massai women made money to buy bee hives that polinated the grass and stimulated the re-greening process.

To bee!
The women of the Enkii group bought three bee-hives with the money earned from placing the fences around the grass seed bank.

These hives are standing in the middle of the grass seed bank. Smart, since the bees can pollinate the grass which enhances the re-greening process.

The women have been trained in how to maintain these bee-hives and how they can harvest the honey. By selling the honey they create an extra income.

Keeping out elephants
The women are also looking into the possibility of using bee-hives for deterring the elephants from entering the grass seed banks. Elephants are terrified of bees. This prevents crushing of the grasses, increasing the harvest of the grass seeds.

These activities help women to become more independent and enables them to have their own livelihood. Additionally, they can use the money for paying school fees, health care and food for their family.

This news item was originally published on the website of JustDiggIt.

(Images: JustDiggit)

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Expertise: Water and agri food
Country: Tanzania

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