By Amoto Dennis.
A Community Development Group Sacco has been established in Garissa town. Chaired by Ubah Saadi, the group of 80 women has Nadho Roone as its Secretary while Kheira Gedi is its Treasurer.
According to the Secretary, the group was started in August last year, after members intermittently contributed money over a long time. The group’s base capital was Sh100, 000, which they used to buy furniture, refrigerator, cups, glasses and mugs etc.
Although she says the group operates a café at Garissa town’s Posta road which sells milk from all livestock, their specialty is camel milk.
Mohamed Dagane, who frequents the café, says the way the ladies prepare ‘susa’ – fermented camel milk laced with sugar – is simply great. He adds that fresh camel milk is bacteria free and has natural vitamin C.
‘’Others claim that since the camel browses from many an indigenous tree top, its milk is medicinal,’’ says Dagane. While some claim camel milk cures diabetics, others say when the milk is laced with other concoctions like the animal’s urine etc, it’s a remedy for Aids.
Whereas such claims are yet to be proven scientifically, a sure thing is that camel milk is good for digestion. Those who have tried it for the first time say it washes the stomach and one must stick around the loo for the clean up.
According to Ubah, the group gets milk supplies from the outposts. ‘’Sometimes we go as far as Bengal in Tana River County, 60 km west of Garissa,’’ she says adding that during or after the rainy season, there is plenty of milk in Garissa but once the drought sets in, getting milk becomes a nightmare.
‘’If we had the means, we would have our own means of transport to access milk, otherwise, it becomes very expensive and eats into our profits so we reluctantly raise prices, ’’ Kheira says . She admits that despite having plenty of milk during the rainy season, poor roads are a road block to their getting milk supplies.
Kheira notes there is need for them to expand to feed their huge membership. She is disappointed that despite promises of help from the Departmrnts of Livestock, Agriculture and even having written proposals to the Garissa County Government and even ADESSO, nothing has been forthcoming.