Donkey Replacement Initiatve Follow-Up Change Story- Nancy Nyambura, Lusighetti

Background Information

Nancy Nyambura, is a member of Kaigata Donkey Owners Group in Lusighetti, Kikuyu sub-county in Kiambu county. She is a single mother with two children and together with her elderly mother they depend on her for provision of basic needs. Nyambura is a victim of donkey hide trade that saw her lose her donkey which she referred to as a “Machine”. She used to fetch water for her domestic use and for her livestock using the donkey. Additionally, Lusighetti being a dry area, water vending using donkey within the area and neighbouring villages was her source of income. However, in August 2019 her donkey and its newborn foal was stolen. This way, she lost her livelihood and the life that followed was full of anguish and suffering.

Taking The Place of Her Donkey

Being the bread winner, Nyambura had to come up with something really fast to ensure her family did not suffer from the loss of her donkey. Her little son and aging mother depend on her for a living thus she had no choice but look for an alternative source of income. She started doing some casual labour around the area for a meagre pay of Kshs. 300 per day. The amount was too little, bearing in mind that she used to earn at least Kshs. 1500 per day vending water. In a bid to supplement her earnings, she resumed her water vending business, this time, pulling the cart herself.

The Agony and Tribulations

Due to desperation and the will to confront the situation Nyambura opted to pull the cart to earn the much needed extra money to at least make life at home more bearable. However, few months into pulling the cart, Nyambura, a once healthy mother and daughter, started developing health issues. She started developing back pains that saw her bedridden and unable to perform the most basic tasks.

Light at The End of the Tunnel

She had lost hope and was tormented by thoughts, wondering how she would raise her son and take care of her mother. It was during her darkest moments, when Murgarian Family launched their donkey replacement initiative. The Kaigata Donkey Owners Group pinpointed Nyambura and pleaded with the team in charge to consider her. Her story stood out and as a result, she was awarded a 2-year old jenny. Without a doubt, this was the happiest day of her and her family’s life.

Life After Donkey Replacement

Nyambura needed some time to recuperate before resuming her water vending business. Though unplanned, this period was essential to give the Jenny some time to accustom to the new environment. After she was recovered and ready to resume, Nyambura had to train the jenny since she had not pulled a cart before. The training took some time since the jenny was also young, but Nyambura says it was worth the patience. The Jenny, has since benefitted Nyambura in a number of ways:

  • Making work easier

Nyambura is now able to vend water easily without having to do the hard work of pulling the cart. She does her work smoothly with little exhaustion compared to pulling the cart herself. Consequently, she has become more productive in other areas of her life such as in the farm and in the house. She fetches water for her household and clients and goes back home in the evening with enough strength to perform her other duties.

  • More Earnings

With this donkey, Nyambura is able to make more trips that she ever could, pulling the cart by herself. As a result, she earns more and takes care of her family more effortlessly.

  • Improved health

Today, Nyambura has fully recovered from the back pains. She can now work effectively and is out of medication.

  • More Livestock

Lusighetti is a dry area and water shortage is a common issue making keeping a large flock of livestock a headache. Although most people in the area have the space and capacity to own a large flock, most people cannot because of the expenses incurred from purchasing water. However, since she has a donkey, Nyambura has expanded her flock and replaced the once stolen during a cattle rustling earlier. Expanding her flock has in turn heightened her net worth.

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