Sierra Leone

Read out about the work and impact of Bees Abroad projects in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Read out about the work and impact of Bees Abroad projects in Sierra Leone

Rory's Well

Rory’s Well Gets Buzzing
Project Goals

This project, in partnership with Rory’s Well, aims to alleviate poverty in five villages (2,500 people) in rural Sierra Leone through establishing a sustainable, community led livelihood initiative. This will include harvesting, processing and marketing honey (and other products). The sale of honey will bring income and work into the entire community with both male and female beekeepers and hence add household resilience to economic shocks.

Challenges Faced by Community

The small nation of Sierra Leone, has faced significant disaster such as the Civil War (1991 – 2001), Ebola (2014-2015) that has resulted in significant human loss and in poverty (Sierra Leone ranks 211th out of 216 in the World Bank GDP/Capita rating)
 
In addition, a country that had once had a 70% forest coverage, has seen that decline to only 7% today. Primary rainforest now covers less than 5% of the land, mostly within the Gola Rainforest Area.
 
The secondary forest fringing the Gola, where we work, is a challenging environment and the District of Pujehun which contains Barri Chiefdom is, according to the Human Development Index, the most deprived district in the country.
 
The people living on the fringes of the Gola are living on the margins and historically have relied on access to the forest for many of life’s necessities: food, building materials, fuel. For most villagers the economic decisions are pretty simple’ is this additional activity worth me not doing what I would be doing otherwise.’ What most would be doing otherwise is gathering food for their families.

How will we achieve these goals

Before we arrived to begin training, the source for honey was only “honey-hunting” which is very destructive. Our early groups of trainees focused on honey-hunters so one of the early successes was to significantly reduce honey-hunting.
 
This and further beekeeping training is taught using locally-built, Kenyan Top Bar hives and will encourage sustainable beekeeping practices amongst community members.
 
Honey sales will be conducted through the Barri Bee-Farming Association (organised by the neekeepers themselves) which collects, packages and markets the honey.
 
While the majority of beekeepers are men, women are also trained in beekeeping. The village women are especially involved with the production of value added products derived from beehive outputs such as propolis and beeswax.
 
Similarly, other trades within the village also benefit, such as carpenters, smiths and tailors whose skills are also needed. This is an exciting time for our activities in Sierra Leone with many new projects with other organisations coming on-stream soon.

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