One of the things that we are most proud of as Kaloko Trust UK is that the investment and support that we have provided over the years is now allowing the team in Zambia to build their own programmes and access funding and project support from other donors.
A current successful example of this is a beekeeping project sponsored by the Finnish government under the remit of a large environmentally-focused programme that they are running across Zambia, the civil society environmental fund. The project is training and supporting over 600 beekeepers over a large geographical area centred around Luansobe. It is just about to enter its second year and the initial review and assessment report gave the team a score of B+, excellent for a brand-new initiative.
It is only through your UK support over the years that Kaloko Zambia has developed the capacity and
resources to manage projects of this scale. In many ways this is the ultimate aim of our work, to establish a professional and credible Zambian-led organisation. It's almost like seeing kids grow up and start to leave home - and much the same, at the moment we still need to be around to guide, advise and provide financial support!
Kaloko has trained many beekeepers over the years but the local population at Luansobe continues to grow, putting increasing pressure on the fragile local eco-system. The forests around Luansobe play a vital role in people’s lives, but the more we can help farmers gain value from the living forests through activities like beekeeping the less likely people will be to resort to indiscriminate charcoal production to help make ends meet.
The Finnish-funded beekeeper training has been completed and the majority of the hives distributed. Kaloko Zambia will be purchasing the raw honey from the bee farmers so the next stage is for them to develop a honey processing plant. The team are in negotiations with two large organic producers in Zambia to ship and sell the honey both within Zambia and overseas. Who knows, it could be that one day soon Kaloko honey will appear on the shelves of our local Sainsbury's!