Esiolo was set up in 2021 as a part of an E4Impact project to build drought resilience in Isiolo county (DRIC). It consists of 13 groups from various wards in Isiolo namely Bulapesa, Burat, Wabera, Merti, Kina, and Oldonyiro. The groups each sell a selection of products that range from camel milk, livestock (goat, camel, cows) horticultural products, Nyirnyir, fodder, poultry, and honey. Collectively, the groups in the co-op have over 400 members.
As part of the DRIC project, an online marketplace was created where the co-op members can now sell their products. They also all have their own individual online shops.
The groups that make up the co-op are; Nasole Sacco, Merti, Oldinyiro SACCO, Rural Women’s Access, Tawakwal Co-operative, Wiyukiririe, Bidii farmers, Kitos, Kambi Ya Juu, Galesa women, Anolei Co-operative, and Jua Kali Nyirnyir.
Merti Livestock Co-operation group serves two wards in Isiolo county Cherab and Chale. It was started in 2014, they initially started out with focusing on cattle rearing but later on switched to goats. They had to make this switch due to drought in the area. This caused them to make a number of losses as cattle have a lower turnover than goats in their region.
They now sell goats and goat milk. They currently have 54 members. They have seen the benefits of operating a group and say that they have a lot more bargaining power in business because of this. Not
Oldinyiro Sacco supports women and youth groups. They have a number of businesses in the Sacco among them is raising goat livestock to sell, they also offer loans and they have a Mpesa stall. The Sacco is based in the Oldinyiro ward in Isiolo county. They do however have customers for their products all the way in Nairobi.
Rural Women’s Access is based in the Bulapesa ward in Isiolo county. When they initially set up they started by doing table banking. They then expanded to running a poultry business when they worked with E4Impact. They initially started with a pure breed of chickens and then realised that the type of poultry was not doing well. This was due to the high cost of maintaining that type of poultry. In light of this, they decided to try a new type of poultry that’s a crossbreed. This has proved to be successful and they now have been able to build their client base. They have a number of clients that include hotels in Isiolo county.
Tawakal Co-operative has 25 members. They are based in the Bulpesa ward in Isiolo county. The co-operative was started when women from the region formed a Chama where they were supporting each other and raising funds using the Merry-Go-Round system. They, later on, decided to form a Co-op. And began to sell cows and goats. They were able to fund this business venture from the money they had saved for building a communal house. The money they earned from their livestock business was used to complete the communal house. Upon completion of the communal house, they acquired a tenant for one of the rooms, another group Isiolo county. The income earned from this rental was channelled back into their various business ventures. They have now expanded to selling camel meat and milk and have clients in the region and as far as Nairobi.
Wiyukiririe has 30 members and are based in the Burat ward in Isiolo county. The group was created in an effort to fight poverty in the region to help families raise funds to take their children to school. They formed forums to help educate mothers in their community on nutrition. These forums have helped reduce the cases of malnutrition in their wards. One of the key things learnt in the training was how nutritious goat milk is. And seeing as this is a type of livestock that does well in the region. The Wiyukiririe group invested in some goats and now every member has a goat that they get milk from and when the goat gives birth to twins they give one of the kids away to a new member to sell it to generate income for the group.
They also started to train other groups in poultry. They currently have Improved Kenyenji chickens. They found this type of chickens are easy to rare as they eat a varied diet and don’t take up a lot of space.
In addition, they also farm tomatoes, sukuma and make tomato sauce and jam. They sell their products in Isiolo, Laikipia, Marsabit and Meru.
Anolei Cooperative has a predominantly female membership of 45 individuals located in Bulapesa Ward, Isiolo County. They started out with support from VSF S/K and E4Impact. They sell camel milk to Nairobi and within the Isiolo region. However, they also have other products that include the production of camel milk chocolate, yogurt, and condensed milk.
The group started raking in money after the quantity of milk transported daily hit the 2,000-litre mark for the first time in the year 2015. Due to the many different shrubs that the camel consumes, its milk mixed with urine heals many ailments that include amoebiosis, typhoid, malaria, and even diabetes. This makes it quite popular among different people in the community
The predominantly female 25-member group is located in the Wabera ward, Isiolo Ward. They practice camel milk production and livestock market value by Vétérinaires sans Frontìeres, (VSF) a non-profit organization in Germany. They started off as a camel distribution beneficiaries group under a previous project and have been trained on milk hygiene, and animal husbandry among other themes. Each member was given 1 camel and through inbreeding, they have been able to grow their camel number to 52 camels.
The members have hired two herders who are in charge of watching over the camels and bringing in the milk supply on a daily basis. Additionally, they also run a saving and loan revolving fund ( Merry-go-round) among members and have been trained in business skills.
Kambi Ya Juu Dairy Farmers
The Kambi Ya Juu Dairy Farmers is a 33 member group located in Burat Ward, Isiolo County. While we are predominantly a bee-keeping group that focuses on honey production, they also have other activities that include horticulture production and farming of dairy goats.
Having been in the honey-making business for a while, the members monitor the different seasons of bee lifestyles to optimize honey production. Their mission is to increase honey quantities in the next 2 years so they are able to serve a larger market.
Kitos Women’s Group.
The Kitos Women’s Group located in Burat Ward, Isiolo County is a 25-member group. They practice horticultural farming and sell to other counties. Originally, their focus was on charcoal but they later decided against it when they realized the damage it was causing to the environment.
They also export their horticultural produce on small scale. Their key products include capsicum, onions, and tomato farming. The members are well trained in the production of horticultural products and their mission is to provide naturally grown products to the community.
Bidii Farmers Group
The Bidii Farmers Group is located in Burat Ward, Isiolo County. They practice horticulture farming for onions, vegetables, and tomatoes. They sell these products outside and within the County. Additionally, they also work with companies or groups of people in various parts of the country. These companies reach out to the group leaders and contract their members to leverage our experience to grow tomatoes or any other kind of vegetables for either personal or commercial use.
Their vision is to be able to provide a wholesome living to their community members along with the rest of the country as well.
Korbesa Farmers Group
The Korbesa Farmers Group located in Merti Ward, Isiolo County, conducts natural fodder harvesting and has preserved around 3 acres of natural grass in the forest. They harvest and ball their fodder. Their members are well trained on the best practices for fodder production, supplied seed and trained, seed bulking.
The Vétérinaires sans Frontìeres, (VSF) a non-profit organization in Germany along with E4Impact have been monumental in supplying the group with farming implements and constructing a fodder store. currently has got bailed fodder ready for selling and marketing and they are in their second season of fodder planting.
Jua Kali Nyir Nyir started in 2020 is a 25-member group based in Bulapesa Ward, Isiolo County. While they are a predominantly female group, they are growing to accommodate the youth in our community.
As a pastoralist community, they have access to quality dried camel meat (Nyirnyir) which they are currently delivering to Isiolo and other parts of the country.
The Nasole Sacco is based in Kina Ward, Isiolo County. The Cooperative which was registered in 2018 was started to help economically empower women living in Kina Ward while improving the lifestyle of their community. With a membership of 36 members, their main economic activity is growing and selling horticultural produce such as; onions, tomatoes, spinach, and kale.
The Cooperative also has a 13-member committee that oversees and manages the SACCO’s money. They have 3 types of loans; developmental, school fees and emergency loans. They currently sell their produce on retail and wholesale. Their mission is to provide their community and beyond with healthy organic produce free from GMO’s