Meet Marie Wairimu Mugo, a mother and a bread winner of her three children in Kiambu County. She begins her day at 4.00am in the morning as she is a business woman and perhaps Dzearly bird catches the warmdz saying is something to go by. As a business woman, she chooses her business battles diligently and engages in a wide variety of them. She also doubles up as a farmer and understands the daily challenges and dynamics of farmers and relates quite knowledgeably with the economic implications in play for them.
Kiambu County is rapidly growing leading to more and more displacement of trees with productive activities like tea and coffee farming. One of the biggest challenges that the residents have to grapple with is accessing affordable and sustainable energy sources and fertilizer
In Ndiri-ini village where Mary come from, majority of the households use firewood, charcoal and LP Gas as sources of cooking energy in varying proportions. However, with scarcity of wood and poor terrain of the rural villages, these have not been adequate solutions for the residents. “Firewood is very expensive and scarcely available,” says Marie.
“First you must buy a tree, hire someone to split it and another to carry home. This would cost cumulatively KES 3000 and would last for just a month. Plus, one has to complement cooking with charcoal and LP Gas costing KES 1500 and KES 2000 respectively every month.” Considering majority of the population in this area earn approximately USD 500 a day, this is surely unsustainable and extremely expensive means of accessing fuel.
Farmers in this area heavily rely of chemical fertilizers to at least improve the crop productivity owing to the low nutrient level of the soils. Sadly, these fertilizers continuously degrade the soil quality and also the chemicals in them finds its way to our food tables. Marie says, “We get cancer due to the chemicals we continuously eat through the fertilizers we put on our farms. We then spend a lot of money in good hospitals trying to remove the chemicals from our bodies.”
When Sistema.bio began penetrating the Kenyan market this year, Marie was among the first people to make the switch. “I like Sistema.bio digester because it helps me save up to KES 70000 in fuel alone every year that then I can use to pay for school fees or even expand my business.” She says. As a business woman, the fast nature of cooking with our bio digester also enables her to keep up the high pace of business and get more value from her time. The customer service provided by the Sistema.bio team, she says, is what attracted her most to adopt the technology. She also reiterates that everyone on the community want to be served by Sistema.bio
Marie wants everyone in her community to be part of this positive change. She says she wants to see more trees standing and people eating healthy food like her because now she uses bio fertilizer that she generates from her digester every day. She has since referred over 10 clients to Sistema.bio and continues to be our ambassador within and outside of her community. These farmers and 70 more on our network are now converting animal wastes in their compounds to energy and fertilizer. A move that is set to sustainably change their economic and social lives forever.