Kacheliba Constituency in West Pokot County, Kenya, can be a harsh place to live. Soil is unfertile, rainfall is erratic and resources are scarce. It’s a hotspot for the adverse impacts of climate change, and natural disasters like drought and famine are all too common here. Food security is uncertain. Poverty is on the rise.
Compounding the situation, two common economic activities here are charcoal burning and pastoralism, both of which further degrade the fragile environment. Other activities include traditional beekeeping and operating small businesses.
CWS has identified modern beekeeping – technically referred to as apiculture – as a way for families to increase their income in a way that mitigates the toll of climate-related emergencies and doesn’t put further strain on the ecosystem. A feasibility study conducted in August 2017 found that the specific population participating in the program relies mainly on pastoralism and traditional beekeeping for income. Beekeeping has the higher opportunity for immediate and long-term sustainable growth. Even better, the practice is already widely established in its traditional form, so it is both known and accepted already. Helping families adopt a few new practices of modern beekeeping has a high likelihood of leading to significantly increased incomes with minimal investment.