The Halcrow Foundation provided funding for the set up a beekeeping facility in Bakary Sambouya, a village in The Gambia. The funds have been used to buy hives, as well as protective clothing and other equipment, which the local women use to produce honey for sale to tourists and hotels. As well as improving household incomes and living standards, the project has helped to raise the status of women in the community, reducing their dependency on the male population.
The project has also encouraged sustainability and self-reliance and reduced migration from rural to urban areas. The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with around 60% of its population defined as living in poverty.
The Kambeng Trust, a small UK-registered charity that has been working in the village for several years, has managed the project. The trust had previously built, staffed and furnished a school for 150 local children who would otherwise have had no education.
The bee-keeping project is an extension of the charity’s work in the village. The project involved fencing off and clearing an area, building the hives and trapping the bees. The women have been trained in beekeeping by Gambia’s National Bee Keeping Association and the Christian Children’s Fund.