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Government gives free chicks to women moving them from illicit brewers to chicken keepers

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The ‘Inua Mama na Kuku Initiative’ which was introduced by Uasin Gishu County government four years ago has transformed the lives of hundreds of women in the grassroots of the county.

Techgaa, a group of reformed brewers, is one of the more than 300 women groups that has benefited from the project and now earns approximately Sh25,000 in a week from chicken sales to hotels such as Silveline within Eldoret town. 

Sally Tanui, the Chairlady of Techgaa women group in Ainabkoi constituency says most of the women in her group depended on illicit brews as their source of income but the long arm of the law often caught up with them.

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After frequent rubbing of shoulders with the authority, the brewers were motivated by a non-governmental organization called ADAPT (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment) who reached out to them in 2015 and asked them to consider their lives and the future of their children.

“Since we only rehabilitate alcoholics and brewers, we had no funds to help the women earn a sustainable income other than ‘chang’aa’ brewing so we approached the Uasin Gishu County government who provided 150 free chicks to the group in 2015” said Julia Kosgei, a coordinator at ADAPT.

To ensure the chicks were well taken care of, Sally notes that they made a timetable to feed the young chicken on rotation basis with two women taking responsibility per day. They fed the chicks on chicks mash at the rate of 30-50 g per day per bird. When the birds were five to eight weeks, they were fed on growers mash (50 to 100 g per day).

“I used to brew alcohol and I could get a lot of disturbance from all over including the police, we also had a lot of problems dealing with drunkards who made our lives really hard. But since we started this group, we have abandoned the brewing business and concentrated on polutry keeping and our lives are now much better  due to income from the sale of chicken” said Esther Jepkinyor, a member of Techgaa women group.

The group now has more than 1,200 chickens which they sell to hotels within Eldoret town.  The high demand for indigenous chicken in the market has ensured Techgaa has constant source of market for their birds. The group sells day old chicks at Sh100 ,one month old at Sh300 and two months old at Sh400, fully mature chicken goes for not less than Sh1000. 

In a week the group sells about 30 chicken earning between Sh25,000 to Sh30,000. 

The profits from the business have enabled the women maintain sustainable income and they no longer depend on their husbands. Their lives are at peace, children in school and they no longer fear arrest by the police. 

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