NEED: Miriam Cheruiyot had a keen interest in bamboo farming for its environmental benefits and was delighted when she discovered that she could generate an income while still conserving the environment.
AVENUE TO MEET NEED: Armed with the knowledge on bamboo farming, Miriam began growing bamboo trees and seedlings for sale. As the trees & seedlings grew, she started making beautiful souvenirs from bamboo for sale in Eldoret town in her shop Afro Craft Souvenirs. She started with only two seedlings and did not make much money in the beginning. However with time she started realizing some profits and would engage some relatives to assist her in the project.
IMPACT: Miriam’s initiative works towards giving an alternative to timber and has also created a micro climate around her neighbourhood which has increased soil water retention capacity in the area. As a result of her increased success many visited her home to learn about the bamboo growing venture. This has seen the initiative replicated in Nandi, Keiyo and Koibatek areas.
INNOVATION: Harvesting bamboo for environmental conservation. The bamboo is grown for use as an alternative to timber.
NETFUND EFFECT: Miriam participated in the Green Innovations Award and won third place in the Individual category. The financial support she received created a lot of awareness amongst her community members on the benefits of bamboo farming.
After NETFUND’s support and capacity building, Miriam now makes profits of between KES 30,000 and 40,000 per month from sale of bamboo seedlings products. Previously, Miriam worked with two temporary employees and family members but after NETFUND’s intervention, she now has two permanent employees and also hires eight to ten casuals. Her production capacity before NETFUND was about 500 bamboo seedlings has now doubled but she is now able to produce 800 to 1000 seedlings and a variety of bamboo products.