Panda Flowers

Product focus: Flowers
Location: Naivasha, Kenya
Type: Small producer – 1,200 workers
Fairtrade certified since: 2003
Contact: Chris Mbugua-


Women in Naivasha have suffered improper maternal care for a long time. Over the past ten years the development in the horticultural sector in the region has led to an increase in migration of workers and their families. An additional 70,000 people have been employed, 70% of them being female. Unfortunately, local authorities did not adapt Naivasha’s healthcare facilities to the new situation. Only 20 beds were available while the hospital delivers more than 20 babies on a daily basis. Several women and their new born babies had to share a bed and facilities, making cross-contamination unavoidable. No privacy was guaranteed during delivery and when complications occurred, the hospital was not equipped to respond accordingly.


The Friends of Naivasha Self Help Group in Kenya was created to support a project to build a dedicated women’s health care centre. Fairtrade farm Panda Flowers, which counts many female workers amongst its work force, was one of the pioneers. Other partners include the Cindy Berkland Trust, set up by a woman who volunteered at the hospital, the Rotary club of Naivasha and medical professionals and architects from the US.  Phase 1 of the project has just been completed and in July 2012 the Naivasha Women’s Health Care Centre opened its doors. It comprises of an outpatient services area with five examination rooms and other utility rooms. The centre also has a delivery wing that includes six delivery rooms, a natal ward with 16 beds, a high risk ward with five beds, a complete nursery setting, two operating rooms and two recovery rooms.


Several Fairtrade farms from Naivasha came together and contributed 60% of the money required for the project. Panda Flowers invested part of its Fairtrade Premium – over USD 143,000 – in the new ward. The flower farms also set up fundraising events. In the most recent one, held in August, the group received USD 125,000 from German retailer REWE Group. Today, over USD 100,000 is still needed to finalise the project.


The impact of the project cannot be overestimated. The Naivasha Women’s Health Care Centre will be an inexpensive and effective way of catering the needs of the women who do not have access to private medical care. Mortality rates of both mothers and infants are expected to decrease drastically.

As a next step, the organisations involved are now focusing on finalising the two next phases. Two more wards and ten private rooms are currently being built.

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