Learning from Mistakes

Shambani Village, Kenya


When adequate water used to be available, Shambani Village used to be the most productive community in the region. Since the rivers ran dry and persistent charcoal burning consumed almost all of the trees in the brush, the village has become like a desert. Catchments are empty and agricultural practices have become paralyzed, which has contributed to the death of several livestock. Were it not for relief food, villagers would have also succumbed to drought and famine. The community admits it caused many of its own hardships by charcoal burning but has ordered trees from the forest ministry to revive the agriculture and bring healing to the land.


Mama Apollo is aggressive in running her business but feels it has been grounded due to the loss of livestock. She has turned to poultry buying and sells to hotels in order to keep her business running. Despite smaller profits, she is grateful and says it is better than nothing. She knows that others in the community have been left with less and have to depend on relief food for survival.