A Case Study of Jacinta James
Jacinta James, 32 years old, acknowledges that being a wife and a mother of 4 is not easy to survive with 20L jerrican of water for a day. The 1st born is in form 1 now and the rest in std 7, 5 and 3 respectively. She says that immediately after supper she would load the donkey and leave behind her children and husband to search for water. The husband would object her effort fearing for her life through attacked on the way. He frequently promised to assist in search for water a thing he never did. Since she loves her family more, she chooses to risk her life at least to ensure water was available. She says that the long queues at the water point interfered with her programs and caused a lot of delays. Jacinta joined others in the only available water source and had to stay until dawn, when she gets back home, all what she will do is prepare the school kids and engage in the domestic chores.
She narrates her story, “since I joined Wingu Makanda SHG in late 2013,my life and focus have taken a different direction. I have persuaded the company of my husband but in vain. He thinks that the group is the ‘women merry-go-round’ group called ‘Nzangule’ in Kamba.”
“So far I have been actively involved in the construction of 5 sand dams in a span of a year and half since registration.” she adds
“Ndyeesi kana ni ngwikala utwaeni tondu musee niwakundangaa na ndendaa ngewa sya uselewa” translated from Kamba as, ”I never knew I would sustain my marriage because my husband was a drunkard who never entertained lateness.”
Being the group secretary, she would be left behind after work to arrange for the following day’s schedule, this was especially during sand dam construction.
“Sua niyathua,ndiie vate kindu,musee easya ata?” translated as, ”the sun has set, I left nothing in the house, what will the husband say?” she confesses of her unverbalized questions. She also had fears that the children will go to sleep without food.
Jacinta is a happy woman today because the husband transformed positively. He assists in the fields and fills the gap in her absence. She says that she cannot withhold from her husband any new idea learnt from the group.
The husband, Mr. James, claims that being born at Makanda village, he understands the water problem in the community, and it’s out of concern that he would question the wife’s lateness; besides their children, they also take care of their aged parents and more so to the mother who has lost her sight.
He adds that he appreciates her perseverance and hard work.
“I have learnt a lot from what she gains in the group. She has taught me how to conserve soil and water through planting of trees, intercropping, use of cover crops, crop rotation and planting of drought resistant crops. She has taught me more about medicinal trees, we have planted some like moringa and I have learnt how to cure it.” says Mr. James.
They have established a small poultry keeping project to enhance their income. They dig holes for planting trees together. Mr. James knows well the agroforestry trees to be intercropped with food crops.
“During our house construction, water and sand was at our disposal. I have established a kitchen garden where I plant Irish potatoes, kales, onions and pepper. I do attend to my daily chores with not much strain.” she adds
“My husband appreciates my hard work. I no longer live in fear. My family’s health has improved a great deal and am enjoying my marriage” she concludes with a smile.
Report compiled by;
Utooni Development Organization