Nairobi Water Fund Joel the oldest picking tea leaves. Susan in the background. The water from the Ndakaini dam is clearly visible in these images.
Family: James Kariuki
Area: Gatanga Region, Thika
Farm type: Tea plantation on the foothills of Ndakaini Dam. The dam supplies 88% of water to Nairobi city. The water source is the Aberdare mountains.
Family members at home:
1. Esther Wanjiru Kariuki, Mama- 60 years old, gave birth to 11 children all at home without outside help!
2. James Kariuki, Father, 66 years old
3. Joel Ruku Kariuki, Son, 19 years old
4. Susan Gathoni Kariuki, Daughter, 17 years old
5. Simon Mwangi Kariuki, Youngest son, 15 years old
- 11 children in total
- 9 grandchildren in total
- Twins Joy Wairimu Wangari and Joan Wanjiru Wangari (11 years old) are visiting their grandparents for their Christmas holidays. They spend 2 months here.
NWF Sustainable Farming practices:
- have a water pan with tilapia fish which they will sell at 200/300 kshs
- use water pan during the dry season (they are prohibited to use the dam water on their farms)
- terracing for vegetables taught by NWF representative Carol
- have planted more Avocado trees as a cash crop as instructed by NWF representative Carol
- only buy flour, sugar, sometimes bread and oil. The rest they grow on their farms.
-Have chickens, rabbits, a goat and a cow for milk daily
- use fire wood from the farm as fuel for cooking
Black night shade (spinach)
- kale, cabbage, spinach
- Tea- 1KG sold at 10 shillings plus 40-50 kgs bonus per kg paid at year end. Approx 400kg of tea per month.
- 6:00 am mama and baba wake up to pray in their room (you can hear them from my room)
- 6:30 am start boiling water and milk the cow. TV switched on to gospel music.
- 7:00 am Chai (milk with a tint of tea) and breakfast (left over dinner from the night before)
- 8:00 Young kids/the twins clean the house; Mama and baba head to the farm. Mama picks tea. Baba works on the vegetable garden.
- 10:00/10:30 Second chai with boiled yams and arrow root for everyone
- 10:30 am to noon back on the farm
- 12:30 pm lunch time (followed by chai)
- 1-3 pm rest time, clean dishes, sweeping, hand wash clothes
- 3:00 pm Uji/porridge for everyone (this is a must!) everyone gathers in the living room to drink Uji. "Uji is important for strength. Farm work is not easy so you must drink Uji"- Ester
- 3:30-5:30/6pm back on the farm to work. The farm is on a steep hill so carrying baskets of tea up the hill is hard work.
- 8:00 pm dinner and chai around TV. Joyful, pleasant atmosphere. Family time.
- 5 meals during the day. "You must have a full stomach to work on the farm". - Ester
- 9/10pm Prayer and sleep time
© Roshni Lodhia