NEWSLETTER: Announcing and Describing a New Development Project

Before the political unrest started in Burundi in 2015, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund had a Call for Applications and selected three new projects for development grants. The African Governing Committee and the North American Governing Committee approved the distribution of the funds. All three approved projects were to be in Bujumbura and because of the protests and related complications in the City, it was decided to delay the funding. As a result of the changes that occurred from the political unrest, two of the three projects are not likely to be implemented.

During my visit to Burundi in January, I visited the site of the project proposed for KAMENGE and I met with the beneficiaries. Since there was no ongoing political unrest in KAMENGE and the enthusiastic project manager and beneficiaries had all remained in their community and were anxious to proceed, I decided to authorize the funding of the KAMENGE project. It has taken some time to get the project going but we are delighted to be able to announce and describe the new chickens and eggs development project.

Producing Eggs to Support Poor Women at Mirango in KAMENGE Zone, Project Manager: Ernest MANIRAKIZA

Brief Description:

This project was designed to improve the lives of the beneficiaries; 16 poor women. The beneficiaries would be organized into a participatory association and trained to operate, manage and govern the project, including direct involvement in feeding the chickens, selling the eggs throughout the community and benefitting from the income generating activities. The project would purchase chicks and raise them to produce eggs, meat and manure which would be sold at reduced prices to benefit the other poor people in the surrounding community. The project would rent a henhouse and, initially, buy 120 chicks and hire a man for two months to feed the chicks and teach the women to feed the chicks on their own. In addition, the project would hire a man to serve as the night watchman. Once the chicks matured and started laying eggs, more chicks would be purchased. When the hens stop laying eggs, they would be sold for meat and the new hens will take over the production of eggs. The project is expected to be self-sustaining long into the future.

Start-up Activities and Accomplishments:

Thanks to Ernest MANIRAKIZA, the project manager who works at Hope Africa University and who is taking a Masters degree in Community Development, this development project has recruited some enthusiastic beneficiaries; 16 women who are between 36- 60 years old. The beneficiaries have been organized into a highly participatory association and are being trained to operate, manage and govern the project. The Ntiwihebure Association, meaning do not lose hope, is well-organized and has elected an Executive Committee of five members; a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Counsellor (an advisor). The association has regular meetings and the members pay a small monthly fee.

President in Discussion with Members
President in Discussion with Members

The project has rented a henhouse in Mirango quarter in the Kamenge zone of Bujumbura and the henhouse is divided into three rooms: a large room where the chickens live, a storeroom for keeping feed and other supplies and a room for quarantined, sick chickens.

In March, the association ordered 120 one-day old, high quality chicks from Uganda. In anticipation of the chicks’ arrival, the necessary drinkers and feeding trays were purchased. The chicks arrived in April and the association hired an experienced man for two months to teach the members to feed and treat the chicks. In addition, the association hired another man to serve as the night watchman.

Chicks about 3 Months Old
Chicks about Three Months Old
Chickens Using Feeders and Drinkers
Chickens Using the New Feeders and Drinkers

Working in shifts, the association members are feeding the chicks and the Vice President of the association is treating the chicks and teaching the other members to treat the chicks.

Two Members and Project Manager Feeding Chickens
Two Members and Project Manager Feeding Chickens

Now the project has 110 healthy chickens and expects the nearly six-month old chickens to start laying eggs in October. Once the chickens start laying eggs, the women will be responsible for collecting and selling the eggs. Most of the eqgs will be sold at a nearby market but members of the association will be able to purchase eggs at a reduced price.

Chickens, Five Months Old and Nearly Ready to Lay Eggs
Chickens, Five Months Old and Nearly Ready to Lay Eggs

In addition, the association members have decided to use some of their rented land near the henhouse to grow lenga lenga or amaranth; a green, leafy vegetable something like spinach.