Utooni Development Kenya was founded in 2002 and registered as a Kenyan non-governmental organization in 2005. The founder of Utooni Development Organisation is a Kenyan, the late
Joshua Mukusya. He built his first sand dam at his home in Kola in Makueni District Eastern Kenya in 1978, and was a founding member of the Utooni Development Project, a self-help group still active and an important mentor to the Utooni Development organisation. Joshua was working with self-help groups in the area since that time, building sand dams, constructing domestic water tanks, planting trees, and digging terraces. Utooni Development Organisation works with registered community self help groups who approach us for assistance.
Since its inception in 2002 through October 31, 2009 Utooni Development Kenya has worked with 59 community self help groups. We have built 231 sand dams and 48 sand dam extensions; planted 591,608 trees; dug 987,084 meters of terraces; set up 58 tree nurseries; started 56 seed banks; constructed 31 water tanks and established 10 pipelines. We build about 50 sand dams a year. Each sand dam costs about 600,000 KSH or $8,000.
The cost of adjunct technical assistance and training in tree, crop, and seed bank work provided to the community group for a year is about 400,000 KSH or $5,300.
1978 Utooni Self Help Group started by six families with focus on alleviating water shortage
1979 Built first sand dam with help from the National Council of Churches in Kenya
1980 Began small land plots for demonstration and community workshops in Kyangolo with help from Kenya government
1981 Started to plant tree nurseries to address firewood shortage. Now 60 members were registered with Utooni
1983 Women of Utooni group began making baskets to increase income
1983-1984 Started many committees: Water, Animal Husbandry, Agricultural, Food and Seed Storage, Income, Soil Conservation, Social, Tree Planting, Health, Training and Exchange, and Central Committee
1984 Received training from Kenya government on food treatment and storage
1985 Introduced terrace building to Utooni group members and began helping each other dig them
1985 Started “merry-go-round” loan system and received World Neighbors loan to boost the amount available to Utooni group members
1985 Started a Technology Training School, where Utooni members’ children could learn sewing, carpentry, masonry, and simple accounting
1985 Started Training Department to train new Self Help Groups that were forming
1986 Bought land for rental income, built first Utooni Office Building
1986 Opened three mobile outreach clinic centres with help from Oxfam
2002 Utooni Development Kenya founded
2005 Registered with Kenya government as a non-governmental organization and changed name to Excellent Development Kenya
2008 Changed name from Excellent Development Kenya (EDK) and renamed Utooni Development Organization (UDO)