Chef Kabui is committed to sharing the knowledge that can empower people and enable them to have greater control of their life. In Kilifi, there are three locations where chef Kabui is working to increase food security and vibrant local economic growth based on the use of locally available resources to create wealth and a better environment. The first piece of land is in Majajani.
Kilifi is a hotbed for food politics. It offers a great nexus for the discussion of food, culture and power. The area was first colonized by Arabs around 8th century. The Europeans would invade the area around 800 hundred years later. The problems did not end there either. The new government was faced by a deep problem of gain control of the area as the old power brokers that was aligned with the old power structure established by the Arabs continued to have great influence in the area.
Religion played a great part in this power struggles. Islam was not only a religion but a sort of government in its own right. Those in power in this region used that as a way of opposing the new government as they sort to keep their own stranglehold of the coastal region. They argued that as muslims, they were less likely to get fair treatment and would fair much better under their own autonomous government. The problem was that the locals were still considered second hand citizens by the ruling elite that were known as Mazurui. The were the families of mixed blood between the foreign Arabs and the local Bantu people, then known as Zinj. Locals that did not convert to Islam found themselves isolated from both land as well as power. There are still deep wounds to this day as the local struggle to gain access to their ancestral lands that they were alienated from by both Arabs and the Kenyan government as well.
These problems have culminated in the area being very food insecure
The land three pieces of land we have in Majajani in an area where the property prices are experiencing their greatest rise owing to recent acquisition of adjacent land by major developers and companies for the purpose of real estate development.
Here are a few photos of the type of houses that a piece of land right across from us is building. The housing development has been voted the number one housing development in the whole of Africa two years in a row. The 150 acre housing development is called Mandharini and has plans of building about 180 houses, a resort touching the Indian Ocean Creek and a gold course. The average cost of the houses is about $420,000 dollars. This will certainly have great pressure on land prices and by extension he practicality of growing food on adjacent lands.
The area is about ten minutes from the major highway to Malindi and Mombasa. Yet the nearby village appears to be very far removed from the modernity. The local lack basic amenities and food security is a major problem. Jobs are few and hard to come by.
Here are a few pictures of the housing development.
Here are some of the locals just around the corner from the housing development.
The second location in Kilifi region is in Shibe, near an area popularly known as Mrima wa Kuku, ( which literary means the mountain of the chicken). The area is about 35 minutes from Kilifi town. The area has great potential for animal rearing and organic produce. There is a river nearby and though not the best water to use for irrigation, it can be quite useful in growing trees for wood and eco tourism.
The area is about 40 minutes from Kilifi town and about ten minutes from Shibe. The area is rather remote and sparsely populated. There is plenty of land and some of the areas have rich red volcanic soil. The major problem here is water. While there is piped water that is quite reliable, few locals have the means of piping the the resource to their home. For those who do, there is a brisk business of selling water to the neighbors. This however is very limiting as there is little else that one can do with that water other than household use. We are looking at animals husbandry and the growing of trees as a means of taking land that is otherwise of little use to the community and turning it into a useful asset. There is great potential for those who may be interested in triple bottom line. As an investment, a little capital can be invested by outsiders as a form of retirement program for example. It is also a great way of saving money for college. If an average family just planted ten acres of trees for every child at birth, the return of investment would be enough to educate a family through college for the average university in Kenya and even abroad.
The cost of land is low and labor is available. Trees are not that difficult to grow and the have a great return on investment. The community would both earn money in the whole industry and they can share some of the land with the outside investors. The forest created would be both aesthetically pleasing but it would take the land out of commission for other crops that may deplete the soil. In the place for the usual crops like corn, we intend to introduce other organic foods that can replace corn and are more nutritious.
We are clearing low brush growth in the area and growing trees.