Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Farm development

Besides the work on the eco-san toilet we are also working on the development of farming activities. One very interesting innovation is the purchase of a treadle pump, a water pump with a capacity of 3000 L per hour operated by stepping.
before we had to fetch water for the shower and for irrigation by hand with jerrycans. Now we pump it within a few minutes up to about 10 meters high, which is a real improvement.

Actually we were eating fresh roasted maize and fresh vegetables during the dry season when all surrounding fields were dry.

we also started a trial to plant Irish potatoes durign the dry season in double dug beds. By planing early before the rain start we hope to prevent the infection with fungal airborne diseases. we we will see.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Back in the air!

Well it has taken some time, but finally we are back in the air. Our Internet service has been terribly poor and almost not accessible. Since a week it has improved so let me try to write some news.
We have been very much restricted by our finances. I had the opportunity to go for some very interesting consultancy work in Karamodja, 1000 km east from Kabale. And this time was lost for Amasiko work. Actually this remains a challenge. Working for family income reduces the time available for Amasiko.
We have got some small funds and are now busy building some essential infrastructure such as an Ecosan (composting) toilet, shower, a wooden house, camping site. As I wrote some time back, we got a machine to make Interlocking Soil Stabilised Blocks. (ISSB). we made some trials and the result was surprising. The blocks are strong and heavy. We left some of them for 24 hours submerged in water and they stayed perfectly well. We are now using those for the Ecosan building.

Although the place is not ready, we think that we should start operating as soon as the shower and toilet block are functioning. We have got some tents (Christina thanks again for all the equipment you left behind). Many youth are coming to us asking for training opportunities so its time to start with the little we have!

Back in the air!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

latest news

Dear friends, my excuses for not updating the blog. We had a serious problem with the Internet connection which made it almost impossible to send any mails. Seems to be solved and its time to continue writing!
Well many things happened:
Hamukaaka village has really managed to start their projects. Groups are meeting once a week to work together and plan for the next steps. Now Irish potatoes are planted, handicrafts are made weekly in the group.
Some basket made in Kabale,

And the first 11 pupils have started schooling.

Our Appreciative Inquiry team went out for a second time and worked with another community. This was also successful, Similar groups are made. Main Target is to expand the existing primary school from 2 to 6 classrooms.

Mukurizi (old man, a respect in Rukiga) and his wife, The two eldest participants in the AI workshop
Ans myself I am working on some guidelines for the use of Appreciative Inquiry in rural communities.
In Kabale the rainy season has actually started. Farmers are busy planting. At our side we have constructed a few ditches and trenches along contour liens and planted leguminous scrubs (Typhrosia) and grass (Vetiver grass and Rhodes grass) for soil stabilisation and as fodder. between the trenches we inter-cropped beans and maize in rows. Our neighbours watched full of amazement, how someone can spend all that time on planting in rows. Their broadcasting is much faster, so why wasting time. Now we are praying that we have a good harvest to show the benefit!
Kabale has strange soils. Dusty during the dry season, very had with a slippery surface in the rainy season. This makes roads on hills and slopes almost impassible. even fur wheel drives glide sometimes of the road. So every planned journey starts with a look to of the window to see if rain is preparing come. Last Sunday rain surprised me on the way from Amasiko to Kabale (20 km) going down the slopes was like driving on black ice and it took me almost one hour.
Will I reach in this rain?

Africa remains a Continent full of challenges, surprises, magic and miracles.