Empowering Grassroots Women to do Business in Maragua, Muranga County
The Green Belt Movement Bamboo pilot project in partnership with Waterstone, Norway has a general long term goal of promoting the planting of indigenous bamboo in Kenya for its conservation value and economic potential benefit to local community and the society at large.
This is by initiating income improvements for the community members through bamboo propagation, processing technologies and marketing; secure the resource-base of the poor for sustainable and high value bamboo production. This project ensures development and innovation of green business opportunities which contribute to cleaner environment and a positive impact to climate change. It empowers and nurtures natural resource managers who plant trees with a business mind in addition to protecting the natural resources.
A team from MacArthur and wPower visited the project and GBM community members shared the experience, challenges, benefits and lessons learnt.
As far as MacArthur project is concerned, Africa women are on the frontlines of environmental challenges and experience environmental impacts in very real and serious ways. Yet women are far from just victims; they are a critical force for managing natural resources sustainably, conserving biodiversity and increasing energy access, which helps to combat climate change, improve livelihoods, and advance community health. Unlocking women’s potential as “green agents of change” is necessary to realize the full potential of investments in conservation in the region and to ensure the long term sustainability of conservation outcomes.
The Bamboo pilot and the MacArthur projects will build the capacity of women to better manage the resources in GBM priority watersheds. It will build their capacity to strengthen the role of women in rural areas as natural resource managers in ways that conserve ecosystems and sustain the multiple benefits they provide. The two projects will connect women’s empowerment to natural resources management, combating climate change, increasing energy access and improving community health.