Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Ngurumani diary through the eyes Meditines Ltd

Ngurumani is part of the Olkiramatian group range and is situated 160km from Nairobi. Climatic conditions in this area are moderated by the presence of forests between the Ewaso Nyiro River and Ngurumani escarpment making the conditions within the scheme less harsh, unlike the rest of Magadi division where the temperatures are very high (quiet unbearable to most visitors). The Iloodokilani pastoral Maasai still inhabit the grassland plains.

The most serious threats to the welfare of these Pastoralists and Nomads include recurrent drought (now being experienced), famine and diseases, lack of processing and marketing facilities for livestock and animal products.

Ineffective and unequal bargaining power, due mainly to the dominant role of middle men and large scale traders and coupled with the lack of exploitation of alternative income-generating activities.

Lorika Foundation, a developmental led initiative of Oldonyo Laro Estates, by establishing a micro finance-Meditines and offering business trainings within Ngurumani, identified the need and undertook to bridge the gap emanating from lack of entrepreneurial knowledge and initial seed capital for new business start ups among the community members of the Olkiramatian group ranch.

By partnering with the non-governmental organizations, the ‘culturally defined’ institutions, and numerous self-help groups which are active in the area, Meditines makes local individual actions explicit in relation to surrounding actors; environmental conditions and society at large, it takes into account the social cultural norms and values, leadership structures, elements of conflict, educational standards and networks.

These factors, combined with the element of time, bring in a perception of choice, change, expectations and strategy.

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