Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nguruman Maarifa centre re-launched in style

Information communication technology has taken over all aspects of life and has proved to be a powerful tool for economic and social development. It has also bridged digital divide by fostering equitable access to modern communication technologies. Nguruman area was once ear marked among the 10 most remote tech locations in the world. ( Nguruman Maarifa centre has been instrumental in bridging the gap and now the residents has something to smile about at last.
Nguruman Maarifa centre on 10th August, 2012 had the first formal ICT training graduation held in style where more than ten stakeholders participated in an open day and more than 200 community members attended the pass out which was graced by District Agricultural Officer (DAO)Mr. Henry Siro assisted by Area DO.Mr. Japeth Bikhanga. The activity which had its theme "Using information technology for sustainable livelihoods in Nguruman" kicked off at around 10.00 am where stakeholders had enough time to explain to community members the efforts they are putting to incorporate information technology to improve community's  livelihoods.
Guest of honour inspecting AMREF stand during the open day.
The main stake holders who participated included; AMREF Kenya who were showcasing clean light that uses waste paper and used kitchen oil among other reproductive health matters, Entasopia health centre taught people matters on healthy nutrition practices.African Conservation Centre was also represented and informed participants matters concerning biodiversity conservation and people-wildlife conflict.
Agro-chemical companies like Osho and Sygenta also participated among community groups groups who displayed their products and explained their activities to participants. .
Area Chief Mr. Sereu receiving certificates from the chief guest on behalf of government officials. 
From the speeches made by the days speakers, it  was evident that the Maarifa centre has had a great role in sharpening skills  for Nguruman ICT gurus  . Mr. kasifu,  the advisory commitee chair  had this to say; "I had no idea on how to operate a computer..., I can now type and send my documents via e-mail. I have been  table to participate in business management training course at USIU university through application I made at the Maarifa centre".Chief Sereu had also his side to tell... "I have been able to update my GHRIS details and also as an administration student at Kenyatta university, I have been able to download  exams as well as sending my assignments at the Maarifa centre..., Thanks to ALIN for the facility."

Mr. Anthony Mugo, deputy Director at ALIN assured commuity members that, ALIN will do all it can to ensure that all services offered to them are timely and dress their daily challenges and information needs.

The guest of honour Mr. Henry Siro in his speech made it clear that its governments interest that every Kenyan citizen becomes ICT compliant and that, in the near future for one to get employment, He/she will be required to be having International computer driving licence (ICDL).  
Some Students displaying their certificates after the graduation ceremony.
The guest of honour issued certificates of participation to 62 graduates who had completed their training.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Information guarantees alternative livelihood to a crops farmer

Changing climatic conditions have resulted to minimal rainfall amounts, a situation that has resulted to recurrent food shortages. Nguruman area has been known to have sufficient water for irrigation all year round. This has not been the case for the last two years and many farmers are now forced to reduce their acreage or diversify their farming options. Lack of promising markets and poor infrastructure has also contributed greatly to losses incurred by farmers.
Mr. Chege attending to his tomato crop
Mr. Peter Njoroge Chege one of the farmers came to Nguruman in Jan 2011 purposely to farm, so he rents a house in Entasopia shopping centre and also a farm to cultivate in the agriculture area.
Mr. Njoroge later learned that challenges that face farmers in Nguruman like hardships in access to the Markets at Kiserian, Rongai and Nairobi due to poor infrastructure increase production costs for farmers reducing their profits and sometime leading to heavy losses.
 Mr. Peter Chege feeding his poultry
‘I learned that apart from crop farming, I also needed to incorporate other micro agric businesses so that I maximize my profits in the area because I incur a lot of expenses’ Said Mr Njoroge. ‘I wanted a small scale agri-business I can easily handle and make something out of it with minimal expenses so I had two options, chicken and rabbit’ he explained .

In April 2011, Mr. Njuguna decided engage in poultry keeping. With little knowledge about poultry Mr. Njuguna visited Nguruman Maarifa centre to find out more information about the practice.
‘I went to the library section and found a number of interesting books that provided me with a lot of information about diseases, brooding and treatment’ says Mr. Njoroge. ‘At that time I only had 4 chickens’ He added
Poultry scavenging for greens.
Mr. Njoroge says he chose poultry because they are a quick source of income, they are easy to maintain and they are free range – they are allowed to move around the compound looking for food. He gets regular income from eggs and sometimes he sells the chicken.

 ‘I also learned that to maintain a steady egg production the chicks should be separated from their mothers’… he adds. His chicken also supplements his family diet providing much needed proteins. They also provide income through egg and live chicken sales.
Some of the challenges Mr. Njoroge faces includes diseases, predators and feeding challenges. He uses aloevera to treat all diseases that affect his poultry.