Community Projects and Livelihood Programmes
Base Titanium is committed to working with communities to improve living standards and provide livelihood opportunities.
The main aim is to deliver this through the implementation of a variety of community projects. With substantial amounts of funding going towards these programmes, it is intended to be the engine room for community development that will outlast the life of the mine.
Agricultural and animal husbandry programmes play the leading role in realising this objective.
Base engaged a specialist Australian consultant to look into improving agricultural productivity and diversity in Kwale. Business for Development (“B4D”) has an extensive track record of implementing such programmes in a number of countries.
Other projects include:
- Supporting the Kwale County Department of Health in the implementation of its Community Health Strategy, which aims to improve the health status of local communities.
- Working with local non-governmental and community based organisations in the area of enterprise development, such as Village Savings and Loans Association (“VSLA”) schemes for volunteer community health workers and enterprise development for youth and women’s groups.
The programmes are having positive impacts on many parts of Kwale County, including the host resettlement site, communities adjacent to the mine, as well as the Likoni area in Mombasa County where Base Titanium’s port facility is located.
The Pavi Cooperative Society
A significant development coming out of the livelihood programme initiated in 2014, was the birth of the Pavi Cooperative.
Local farmers incorporated in the early stages of the programme focused on growing cotton and potatoes. Soon after inception, it became clear that the farmers would be better served by forming a cooperative society.
Training was arranged and conducted in July 2015 by Kwale County Government and the State Departments of Agriculture and Trade & Cooperative Development.
The cooperative was duly constituted and adopted the name Pavi, an acronym representing ‘Pamba na Viazi’, Swahili for cotton and potatoes.
To read more about these initiatives, click on the interactive map below, which shows the geographical spread of our livelihood enhancement projects.
In early 2014 Base Titanium introduced a new concept to Kwale farmers and set out to establish if potatoes could be successfully grown in the region. Through enormous efforts by local farmers under the guidance of agricultural specialists from Syngenta, B4D, Kwale County Government and DEG, the potato trials proved that good yields could be realised.
Progress in Kwale has not been without its challenges with farmers having to learn many new techniques, work hard preparing the fields for planting and then coping with weeds and a host of new crop pests. The result of all these efforts and this hard work is none the less outstanding. All can now be confident of potatoes being a valuable additional crop for Kwale farmers.
Commercialisation of potato farming commenced in 2018 as more trials of five new varieties were carried out in 2015, ‘16 and ‘17 as a result of unavailability of older genetics in the market. Of these varieties, two were confirmed suitable for cultivation in Kwale’s hot and humid climate, with proven yields of more than two tonnes per acre. This follows planting conducted by ten farmers in Kubo South and Kinondo Wards. Farmers were able to sell all their produce in local markets in Ukunda, Kikoneni and Msambweni.
40 farmers have been targeted for planting of these varieties in 2019, which are better accepted amongst the public for taste and cooking qualities.
As usual challenges have been experienced as this crop is labour intensive, especially in land preparation, and expensive to grow. The margins, however, have proven to be attractive.
Cotton is one of the major cash crops that the company has been encouraging farmers to plant.
Trials in 2014 were undertaken to test the economics of cotton farming in Kwale and to determine cotton lint quality, including fibre strength and colour and to select suitable varieties. Successful yields and excellent quality provided strong indication that this crop has the potential to become an important contributor to agricultural livelihoods in the region.
Cotton farming has now been taken up by over 1,000 smallholder farmers cultivating about 1,500 acres. The crop is central to the Pavi Business Park concept, which will include a ginnery, together with oil press and livestock feed preparation for the leftover seed, the only one in the coastal region.
Working with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives and the Fibre Crops Directorate, Base Titanium is supporting the revival of the cotton industry, a stated objective of the Government of Kenya under the Big Four Agenda to steer the nation towards industrialisation.
After trials in 2016, planting was rolled out to the community across Kwale County the following year.
In 2017, 150 farmers produced an initial harvest of 60 tonnes, of which 50 tonnes was sold to East Africa Breweries as a trial batch.
The programme was expanded the following year to include 700 farmers who produced 350 tonnes.
Sorghum has proved to be well suited to the coastal climate and soils and is delivering impressive yields. In addition to it being a profitable commercial crop, it provides a nutritious dietary supplement and is an important ingredient in feed stock formulation.
Along with cotton seed, soya and pulses, it is being used to produce affordable chicken feed for participants in our community poultry programme. Base Titanium has donated a threshing machine to process the harvested sorghum and a milling machine that will be incorporated in the Pavi Business Park.
In further support of this highly successful venture, Base Titanium has donated a threshing machine to mechanise separation of the grain from the plant material after harvesting.
Poultry & Beekeeping
The poultry programme was conceived as a means of addressing protein deficiency in community diets and to provide sustainable economic opportunities for participants.
Trials were undertaken in 2016 with the aim of selecting the most suitable breeds for both broilers and layers.
Since then, 1,000 birds per year are distributed in groups of one cock and five hens per household. The beneficiaries, predominantly women, are identified through community liaison committees.
The programme has now been expanded to include feed formulation from locally grown inputs as an integral part of the Pavi Business Park.
By February 2019, estimates indicate that more than 250,000 eggs have been laid and 50,000 chicks hatched in the community.
Apiculture is a growing livestock subsector in Kenya and was recently added to our livelihood projects. After a successful trial period in 2017, the programme was expanded to include 35 community groups in Matuga, Msambweni and Lunga Lunga Sub-counties, operating a total of 240 hives.
In addition to providing hives, Base Titanium has also donated bee suits, sieves and centrifuges to enable the groups to manage their hives safely and process their harvests into good quality honey. The modern hives used in the programme can yield up to 15 litres of honey every 3 months.
The venture is proving to be extremely successful, with each hive generating an annual profit 45,000 shillings (US$450).
Community Health Units
Base Titanium supports the Community Strategy, launched in 2006 by the Ministry of Health, which aims to improve health status at the community level.
The strategy provides for Community Health Volunteers (“CHV”), one per 20 households, to act as a link between their communities and the nearest health facility. CHVs within the same location are mobilised to form a Community Health Unit (“CHU”). The CU is supported by a Community Health Extension Worker who acts as a link between the CUs, community and the county Ministry of Health. The CHVs are at the forefront in promoting basic community health.
The CHVs actively engage their respective communities on various health issues such as improving sanitation and hygiene and promoting good health practice. The programme is closely coordinated with the County Health Departments, the communities themselves and other relevant stakeholders.
Through this programme 241 CHVs have been trained covering 46 villages around the Kwale Mine, the Likoni port facility and the host resettlement site at Bwiti across 7 CHUs as follows:
- Magaoni CHU (linked to Magaoni Health Centre); 21 CHVs covering 7 villages: Magaoni, Mwaloya, Majikuko, Bumamani, Vumbu, Mwaweche and Miembeni.
- Mivumoni CHU (linked to Mivumoni Catholic Dispensary); 25 CHVs covering 6 villages: Fingirika, Dzibwage, Kibwaga, Nguluku, Mivumoni A and Mivumoni B.
- Kibuyuni CHU (Linked to Likoni Sub-County Hospital); 68 CHVs covering 7 villages: Kibuyuni A, Kibuyuni B, Madongani, Bagaani, Migombani, Mtaa wa Pwani and Mbogoyani.
- Jitahidi CHU (linked to Bwiti Dispensary and in conjunction with Aga Khan University); 47 CHVs covering 10 villages: Mshiu, Mwangwei, Nguzo B, Nguzo C, Mwarustwa, Wasaa, Nkaphu, Makorokoroni, Nguzo A and Kanana.
- Mafisini CHU (linked to Mafisini Dispensary); 20 CHVs covering 6 villages: Mafisini A, Mafisini B, Kidiani, Mwachande, Magodi and Kidzumbani.
- Gazi CHU (linked to Gazi Dispensary); 20 CHVs covering 3 villages: Fihoni, Gazi and Madongoni.
- Kombani CHU (linked to Kombani Dispensary); 40 CHVs covering 7 villages: Bowa Matopeni, Minazini, Kombani Central, Chitsandze, Majengo Mapya, Kidzumu and Kitsakamata.
Community Groups Training
Base Titanium aims to build relationships with the communities in which it operates by enriching their lives through active participation, by empowering them and by providing appropriate capacity building programmes to maximise sustainable economic benefits without creating dependency.
A measure of the success of these programmes is illustrated by this testimonial letter from one such group in Chigombero.
Community Economic Empowerment Training
Base Titanium entered into a service agreement with Dzarino Community Based Training Organisation in November 2014 to run an economic empowerment training programme for project affected community groups. The purpose is to equip communities with basic skills to help them to initiate business start-ups and undertake entrepreneurial activities to improve their livelihoods.
Training programmes are based on the following 5 modules:
- Group Management and Leadership Skills
- Savings Management
- Credit Management
- Business and Financial Management
- Income Generating Activities Skills
The training is delivered using methods that enable the participants to understand the information presented. A participatory approach has been adopted with the trainers making extensive use of stories, pictures, role plays, group exercises, discussions, presentations and brainstorming. This has already proven successful, particularly for the elderly and illiterate participants, with positive feedback received from the communities.
The composition of the groups is diverse and includes youth, the elderly, men and women drawn from:
|Nuru Njema Women's Group||Zigira|
|Jefsi Youth Group||Chigombero|
|Kuzamako Women's Group||Magaoni|
|Tumaini Self Help Group||Chigombero|
|Bwiti Irrigation Group||Bwiti|
|Mrima Bwiti Famers' Group||Bwiti|
|Zinduka Women's Group||Mshiu|
|Muungano Women's Group||Magaoni|
|Vumba Women's Group||Mtongwe|
|Mbuta Women's Group||Mtongwe|
|New Port Youth Group||Bofu|
|Pearl Women's Group||Bofu|
|Mtaa wa Pwani Women's Group||Bofu|
|Mnazini Youth Group||Timbwani|
|Bin Walid Youth Group||Timbwani|
|Top Ten Youth Group||Timbwani|
|Giza Youth Group||Likoni|
|Dodo Women's Group||Shika Adaubu|
Village Savings and Loan Association Training
Dzumbe Limited is a community based training organisation in Kwale engaged to empower Community Health Volunteers ("CHVs"), in the Community Health Units ("CHU") established through the Kwale County Health Department. The focus of this training is to introduce them to the Village Savings and Loan Association (“VSLA”) savings model, which promotes a culture of savings, accessing small loans to support income generating projects and improving their livelihoods. The VSLA concept entails members voluntarily coming together to form saving groups. The savings are then invested in a loan fund from which members borrow and repay at a small interest. Savings are held over 9 to 12-month cycles after which each member receives their savings plus interest.
Dzumbe carried out VSLA training for Magaoni, Mivumoni, Kibuyuni Community Units and conducted monitoring and mentoring of the CHVs through the first savings cycle in 2015. The VSLA groups have increased from 5 to 61 in September 2017, across the 7 CHUs. A total of 1,334 members, mainly women, now participate in weekly savings meetings. The CHVs have now taken over the role of training and supporting VSLA groups in their respective communities with Kibuyuni CHVs initiating supply of VSLA kits as one of their income generating activities.
Likoni Beach Management Unit Maritime Training
As a community initiative geared towards improving livelihoods of Likoni residents, where the port facility is located, Base Titanium donated a fishing boat, named MV Base One, and gear worth Ksh 7 million to the Likoni Beach Management Unit (“BMU”). It also supports the BMU by facilitating access to maritime studies training at the Dar es Salaam Maritime Institute in Tanzania to enhance the group’s capacity to carry out its fishing activities in a safe and effective manner. A total of 45 members of the BMU will complete the programme at a cost of Ksh 6 million.
Schools Sports Programme
Base Titanium supports education and life skills development through sports.
Life skills modules, directed towards promoting behavioural change and positive attitude through sports and environmental programmes, are provided to a number of primary schools.
Base Titanium, through its partnership with Sports For All, runs a Life Skills Programme in 28 primary schools in Kwale County and Likoni Sub-County. The programme focuses on improving children’s performance through building life skills using the medium of sports and enjoyment and seeking to instill values through attitude shaping. These lessons include gender equality, teamwork, anti-bullying, respect, co-existence and environmental awareness, alongside games such as athletics, football, netball, volleyball and touch-rugby. This programme reaches approximately 13,000 pupils each week.
The programme is running in the following schools:
|18||Kidimu School for the Deaf||Pongwe/Kidimu||Lunga Lunga|
|19||Shika Adabu||Shika Adabu||Likoni|
|23||Jamvi la Wageni||Likoni||Likoni|
|28||Likoni School for the Blind||Likoni||Likoni|