Each rainy season Telesia plants about 30 trees and sells 1000s of seedlings to members of the Mamba Cluster. In this way, she is able to pay for her children’s school fees and buy basic supplies despite having only half a hectare of land.
Machakos County, in southern Kenya, borders Nairobi. The land is hilly and arid, susceptible to drought and landslides. In 2015, Telesia Muloko Munywiki was one of the early adopters of the TIST Program when a TIST sponsor and international law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, funded the expansion of the Program into her area.
Telesia and her neighbors created a Small Group in Machakos that they named Kuweta Na Kwika (2016KE219). They formed the Mamba Cluster along with other Small Groups in their community. Like many TIST farmers, she considers Conservation Farming and nursery development as two of the most important benefits of the TIST Program. Applying the lessons she learned at Cluster Meetings, she built a raised seedbed to cultivate seedlings. When unseasonably heavy rains destroyed her seedbed this autumn, Telesia moved her nursery to the ground and began to rebuild. Each rainy season Telesia plants about 30 trees and sells 1000s of seedlings to members of the Mamba Cluster. In this way, she is able to pay for her children’s school fees and buy basic supplies despite having only half a hectare of land. Telesia is one of many female entrepreneurs in TIST who have been able to generate revenue from seedling sales on small parcels of land.
Climate change is apparent throughout Machakos County. Rains have become unpredictable, shifting between drought and flooding. Telesia has applied the Conservation Farming techniques she learned through TIST, and in doing so has fed her family through times of hunger; soon the avocado, lemon, and mango trees she has planted will supplement her family’s diet. Telesia hopes to methodically grow her own nursery, while providing seedlings and support for her community. As a result of Telesia and participants like her, the Mamba Cluster has continued to grow steadily in each year since REAP began.