Activities at Attachab proved the focus of this week’s UK-Nigeria online meeting. And the subject looks set to top the agenda for the next month as a result of the news that John has found an ideal site - complete with the magnificently-named river Wonderful which flows through it.
Yet while the vision is in place and progress is being made, the speed at which work proceeds is hampered by a lack of funds. The team are looking at proposals concerning permaculture, climate change and sustainable livelihoods. To date Attachab has an ecodome (probably the first in Nigeria), a compressed earth storeroom and in the past has also had two dry season fishponds which were washed away when the rains came.
There is now new impetus because, until Febuary 2011, there is also the expertise of Jim, a VSO volunteer. To date, he has already enabled the digging of a new wet season pond. We are also learning to use permaculture principles to channel run-off water for use in the dry season.
The stored run-off water will be complimented by water pumped from the river. Jim has also been able to advise the team about what to do with solar batteries that are no longer strong enough for their original purpose but still could have other uses. He has been able to use four such batteries at Kagoro. They have proved successful for lighting purposes.
Attachab is also an ideal site for establishing Beekeeping, which would also enable practical training which in turn could led to sustainable livelihoods. In this we have also made some recent progress as Jen Miller has kindly agreed to become Dadamac’s Beekeeping Ambassador. Jen, a zoologist, worked with the team in 2008 as a volunteer when Beekeeping at Attachab was first discussed. Phase One of this project was a feasibility study to see if Beekeeping would be worthwhile. A local beekeeping expert was found and a curriculum for training agreed and then the project was put on hold until sufficient funds could be secured. The team is very appreciative that Jen has now offered to help the team look for suitable proposals/ sponsorship so that phase Two of the Beekeeping project can begin to move forward.
Cicely, VSO at Fantsuam, also let us know that beekeeping is the lead story in the “Building Nigeria’s response to Climate Change” newsletter. She hopes to forward the details to us.
Green issues and Livelihoods were further discussed during the meeting. I have previously blogged about the issue of recycling waste plastic in the Kafanchan area. A quick update is that the collaboration between FF, Dadamac and a London University to recycle this waste into plastic tiles has put in a bid to fund this project for a year. However, John is not the type to let paperwork or lack of funds stop his visions - and the team were told at the meeting that the logistics of plastic collection were being looked at. It was agreed that the latest report would be forwarded which duly happened.
It seems that the “Bam Boys” will be responsible for picking up and washing the plastic and then bringing it to Fantsuam Foundation to be weighed where they will be paid accordingly (This is a new phase to me and when I google it not clear as to it’s exact meaning but until I learn otherwise my interpretation of this is “ disengaged youths”) . A meeting between the Bam Boys and FF staff is to be scheduled for after Salah as the majority of the boys are Muslim.
There are discussions underway about the tile which is planned to be produced , where will it fit into the local market, what is the colour, price, quality etc ? All interesting and important questions which will need to be answered if a successful SME is to be established.