Rural smallholder farmers, like Lorenzo Rodas Ischalon from Peru, rely on livestock for their livelihoods. Photo: Paul Brigham/Tearfund

From: Livestock – Footsteps 89

The importance of livestock and how to treat and manage animals well

Wool from goats can be a source of income. It can be spun into yarn and knitted into warm clothing. Photo: Moses Kamau Wanjiru

Wool from goats can be a source of income. It can be spun into yarn and knitted into warm clothing. Photo: Moses Kamau Wanjiru

Our goat-keeping project was based in Nairobi’s informal settlements of Korogocho, Kibera, Kariobangi and Kawangware. The most important benefits of keeping goats were the milk and the manure they produced. Droppings were used as manure for organic farming especially ‘gardens in sacks’ which are common amongst the slum dwellers of Nairobi. Some of the manure was also used in local biogas projects.

The goats were kept in simple pens or shelters. Most were made from off-cuts of timber and mud. These materials were chosen because they were easily available, accessible and cheap. They were mostly fed on fodder eg Napier grass (native to tropical grasslands in Africa), household vegetable waste, pasture grass on idle public land, crop residues from local markets and other urban farmers.

There are varied reasons why people chose to engage in goat-keeping:

Goats are suitable for rearing in informal settlements because they do not need large pastures to graze in. Photo: Moses Kamau Wanjiru

Goats are suitable for rearing in informal settlements because they do not need large pastures to graze in. Photo: Moses Kamau Wanjiru


There are challenges to keeping goats in the city:

Keeping goats in informal settlements has had positive effects on the community by improving household security through regular milk supply for the family, by providing income from selling excess milk and by using the goats as collateral for loans from other project participants during times of crisis. The participants gained new skills and learned to support each other. Manure from the goats helped the families to engage in productive ‘garden in a sack’ farming and in small gardens around their houses. This ensured a continuous supply of vegetables, enough for the home as well as a surplus for selling.

To find out more about this project, please contact moseskamauwanjiru@gmail.com

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Sign up now to get Footsteps magazine

Cover of Footsteps 112: Communicable diseases

A free digital and print magazine for community development workers. Covering a diverse range of topics, it is published three times a year.

Sign up now