Women transforming Kaktemo Landscape from dirty shores to blooming orchards

By Sharon Kamau - Women's Empowerment Link

In a reassuring tale of success, a group of determined elderly women from the Boundary Women Group in Kaktemo has played a fundamental role in a remarkable transformation of their local landscape. Their motivation stemmed from distress over the deplorable state of their beach, which was surrounded by barren hills and marred by improper waste disposal.

The women, who rely on fishing and farming for their livelihoods, embarked on a series of cleanup efforts at the beach. Undeterred by the absence of adequate garbage collection equipment, they conducted three cleanup drives, diligently collecting litter while simultaneously educating their community on the significance of environmental conservation and climate action.

Their primary appeal to the government for a comprehensive waste management plan echoed the urgent need for sustainable solutions to address the garbage issue plaguing their shoreline.  The tireless efforts of the 15 women from Boundary Women Group and names did not go unnoticed. They all went on the ‘wall of fame’ of the beach management unit as inspiration for others to join in the cause.

Moreover, the women went beyond mere cleanup activities and launched a tree nursery project to promote a culture of tree planting, focusing particularly on fruit trees coupled with demand for hilltop restoration. Through their dedication and hard work, many households in Kaktemo now boast at least one fruit tree, contributing not only to a greener community but also generating income through the distribution of tree seedlings to residents who have embraced the idea of planting trees.

The success of their tree nursery project is evidence of the power of community-led initiatives in fostering Climate action and economic empowerment. However, it does not end there. They have used it as a tool of advocacy, as a case study of what women can do when they get the opportunity, and to highlight what the government needs to do.

In a recent gathering on December 18th, 2023, the Boundary Women Group had a storytelling moment with representatives from the Women EmpowermentLink (WEL). This event highlighted not only their achievements but also the importance of women’s leadership and active participation in creating positive change within their communities. Asked about the change she wants to see, she said- “World where individuals, communities, and the government take climate Action” She added that “that then means bumper harvest, and green and clean environment”

The story of these women from the Boundary Women Group serves as an inspiring example of grassroots activism and the transformative impact that dedicated individuals can have on their environment and society at large. Their journey from dirty shores to blooming orchards encourages and reminds us that with determination and collective action, we can create a more sustainable and beautiful world for future generations.

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