They have lived for decades as marginalised herders. Because of poverty, they have lived on the fringes of society for many years. Nine years ago, a circumcision ceremony brought them all together in one spot. That spot grew into a small village now called Nairibi, 107km from Marsabit town.
Like most remote villages, they faced challenges like inadequate pasture, prolonged drought hence no food, child marriages and rampant female genital mutilation. In 2013, they began meeting twice-a-month to find ways of overcoming these challenges.
First, they began building a water tank financed through contributions of KES 200 (USD 2.00) per household. They also donated water, sand, murrum to the project and also provided the labor.
That completed, they started a farm to take advantage of the fertile soils and the newly available water tank. Members of the community assisted each other to cultivate. Soon, the farm began blossoming and vegetables grew aplenty.
Now, the farm supplies vegetables to the entire Laisamis sub-county at competitive prices. Other stakeholders have joined in to assist with piping. The community has organized themselves to run the farm and sharing tasks such as waetering and sales. A meeting takes place every Friday to review activities for the week. In 3 years, a marginalised community has been transformed into a business hub.
Nairibi is one of a hundred and thirty five community groups that we are working with in three sub counties of Marsabit through the Community Empowerment program supported by Concern Worldwide.