First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Wednesday stirred a sleepy village in Taita Taveta where she launched an empowerment poultry program that benefits over 1000 homes across the County.
Members of the Kazamoyo self-help group from Mwashuma village in Bura Ward (Mwatate Sub-County) broke into enthusiastic energy even as the First Lady’s hosts, Mrs Saumu Marula and her Husband Anthony Mwakamba (members of the group) froze in time wondering how to receive their rare guest in their humble homestead.
“We are happy. We Thank God for this visit. We thought nobody thinks about us. But now we know otherwise”, said a shaking Mrs Marula after recovering from her shock and finding her tongue.
Although members of Kazamoyo Self Help group were the first beneficiaries of the poultry project, the program will be extended to the other 20 wards across Taita Taveta, benefiting 30 Self-Help groups and touching the lives of thousands of people in the expansive County.
The project is a partnership between the Office of the First Lady (Beyond Zero) and Ahadi Kenya.
Members of the Kazamoyo Self Help group got another shock of their lives when the the First Lady, in a surprise move, stepped out to physically remove the delicate chicks from their boxes and put them into their chicken coops.
“Kweli mama ni mama (A mother remains a mother irrespective of her status)”, the leader of the Kazamoyo group Mrs Belina Ndeta Kililo was heard telling the others, still amazed that the First Lady could so comfortably handle the young chicks and feeding them into the coops.
The Program is aimed at improving people’s lives-especially women who are the backbone of the family.
It was launched in Bura which represents one of the poorest wards in the county.
Bura also hosts “Raha Kamili” village which is undergoing ‘reconstruction’ and repopulation after an AIDS/HIV wave devastated the sub-location in the 1990s forcing survivors to vacate the area fearing the health tragedy was witch-craft related.
Some of the key challenges of Bura include water and food scarcity forcing the residents to depend on perennial relief food supplies, and human–wildlife conflict where elephants from the bordering Tsavo National Park routinely destroy all their crops.
Besides the poultry programme, the First Lady also launched an Eye Clinic service under the Boresha Macho campaign in partnership with Beyond zero initiative.
The Eye clinic services that incorporates a comprehensive eye examination, Diabetic eye clinic, Eye Surgery and Eye glasses was sporsored by City Eye Hospital in partnership with Ahadi Kenya.
Addressing a Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) baraza at Bura Station later, the First Lady said she was visiting Taita Taveta to thank the people from all the Counties in the entire coastal region for increasing the number of votes that the region gave to president Uhuru Kenyatta during the August 8 elections.
“Uhuru Kenyatta and I have come to say thank you for increasing the number of votes that Taita Taveta and surrounding Coast Counties gave him”, said the First Lady.
She appealed to the voters from the coastal region to vote for President Kenyatta overwhelmingly during the repeat presidential polls.
“I plead with you to vote for Uhuru Kenyatta, my dear husband, as your President”, pleaded the First Lady who was visiting Taita Taveta for the third time since 2014.
She said votes for President Kenyatta will give her the chance to continue with her programs to change the lives of people across the country.
“My appeal to you is from my heart, because it will allow me, it will allow us, to continue our work together to change the lives of women and children of Kenya”, she added.
The First Lady however appealed to Kenyans to maintain peace during the repeat Presidential Elections.
Speakers at the function, mostly women leaders and representatives from the six counties of Lamu, Kilifi, Tana River, Kwale, Mombasa and Taita Taveta pledged to vote en masse for President Kenyatta during the repeat elections.
Taita Taveta was also the first County to receive the Beyond Zero Mobile Clinic in July 2014-marking the start of a 33 month journey for the First Lady to mobilize resources to acquire similar clinics for all the other 46 counties.
Other speakers included County Commissioner Ms Kula Hache, MYWO National chairperson and National Secretary Mrs Rahab Mwikali and Elizabeth Miyeka , respectively, Taveta MP Naomi Shabaan, former Cabinet Minister Major (Rtd) Marsden Madoka, Ahadi Kenya CEO Dr. Stanley Kamau, Stella Samboja (spouse to the Governor), Women Rep Lydia Haika (Jubilee) and women leaders from the six counties in the coast region.