Dry sanitation stand attracts enthusiasts at Zambia’s premier show

The Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show 2014 took place between 30th July and 4th August in the capital city, Lusaka. The show is the country’s premier annual event at which local and international manufacturers, farmers, entrepreneurs and artists converge to showcase their innovations. The theme for the 2014 event was “Breaking New Ground – and Celebrating Zambia’s 50 Years of Independence”.

GLM Zambia and Network for Environmental Concerns and Solutions (NECOS) shared a platform to showcase their dry sanitation projects and dry toilets, thanks to the support from the Global Dry Toilets Association of Finland which secured the exhibition space. On display were information materials on dry sanitation, dry toilet models and samples of organic manure from the dry toilet.

As word went round amongst curious show-goers looking for something new to feed their eyes and minds on, the number of visitors to the stand kept growing from a handful on the first day of the show to hundreds by the last day. GLM and NECOS staff as well as students attached to the two organisations were available throughout the six-day show to provide information and demonstrations on how the dry toilet works. Many of the visitors had never heard of dry sanitation before, and people from different walks of life, including research institutes, academia, agriculture, students and ordinary members of society, were evidently mesmerised by the concept.

“When I first heard of the dry toilets idea, I was not for it. Now with this information, explanation and demonstration, I have a totally different perception. I wish we had this innovation spread across the country”, said one female visitor to the stand. The demand for dry toilets was clearly unprecedented, much of the interest coming from ordinary community members. One of the male visitors noted: “We are so crowded in my compound, we can no longer find space for pit latrines. I see this as a permanent solution to our predicament.”

Some researchers and students who visited the stand also showed interest in adopting ecological sanitation for their academic works. For GLM and NECOS project staff, the show was just the right platform for effective and rewarding outreach work.

Green Living Movement dry sanitation

GLM Zambia and and NECOS stand at the 2014 Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show

GLM Finland’s pop-up restaurant serves seasonal lunch in Turku on the Restaurant Day

GLM Finland will serve lunch on the Restaurant Day on Sunday August 16th in Turku. The food will be made from locally picked and produced food to support our partners far away!

Menu:
– Nettle pancakes with mushroom, bean or zucchini filling
– Wild-herb-green salad
– Blueberry, sea buckthorn berry or apple pie and Aunt Päivi’s cookies with coffee or tea

Also for vegans!

Price is 8.

We will open at 12.00 and serve until 16.00, if food won’t run out before!

A fleamarket will also be organised at the idyllic courtyard during the Restaurant hours – come and find clothes, CDs, LPs and toys!

GLM Finland, Restaurand Day, Development CooperationAll of the profits will be used in GLM’s projects in the rural Zambia and Swaziland.

Siaynemukela / Welcome!

Climate resilience project supports adaptation in local communities

‘Community Strategies for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods’ project, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, started at the beginning of this year by educating small-scale farmers on what climate change is. Participating communities have been discussing the causes, impacts and mitigation strategies. Adaptation plans will be drafted for each of the four partner communities, taking into account the local livelihoods and environmental challenges.

Key adaptation strategies in the rural areas are sustainable agricultural practices. The commonly used slash-and-burn method rapidly destroys nutrients in the soil, which raises the pressure to burn new areas for fields, further accelerating deforestation and erosion. GLM organises training on agroforestry, crop rotation and composting for the farmers. Organic farming eliminates fertiliser costs, while taking care of the soil.

In agroforestry, nitrogen-fixing trees are planted in the fields. The trees also provide ingredients for natural pesticides, leaves for medical use, timber and fruit, while giving shelter from wind, thus decreasing erosion. Many farmers have cattle, chicken and goats whose droppings can be composted to produce organic fertiliser. Shifting to organic farming takes time and requires a lot of work, but according GLM’s experiences, harvests will increase and working hours reduce after three years.

Furthermore, the community members receive training to improve their capacity to work as entrepreneurs and advocates within their own community, but also to impact decision-makers. This enhances the self-sufficiency of the farmers when the project comes to an end. The project also involves chicken and goat production and establishment of nurseries to provide additional livelihood sources. In addition, farmers will visit other GLM´s partner villages to share experiences and approaches, as learning from fellow farmers has proven to be an effective means to change one’s way of thinking.

The overall objective of the project is to create stronger rural villages which have the required knowledge and skills to survive in the changing climate.

Ethical hats in Zambian style for Finnish winter season

GLM Finland and GLM Zambia have started a new project pilot in Chibobo village in Central Zambia. The purpose of the project is to engage one of the farmer clubs, Chibobo Women, to crochet beanies and barets with Zambian patterns using Finnish wool. The hats will be sold in Finland and the label of the product will include a photo of its maker.

While GLM has a long history of working with Chibobo, this pilot project offers a completely new way of providing additional income to the community members. The product development has been carried out together with Chibobo Women, and it was decided that barets and basic beanies would be made. These hats were chosen, because in Finland the cold season is very long and people need to keep warm, and these hats with local Zambian patterns also look very unique. In addition to producing nice hats, GLM is providing additional work opportunities for the women – which is, after all, the most important thing.

Green Living Movement

Green Living Movement employing Chibobo women to make crocheted hats

Impacts of the Farmers’ Market project enhanced during the last project year

The three-year Farmers’ Market project that GLM has been implementing in Serenje district has reached its final year. The project has improved the marketing and negotiation skills of local farmers in GLM’s partner villages. Donkeys have also been purchased for the villages to help the farmers transport their produce to more profitable markets.

In 2013, the representatives of the local marketing committees made an educational visit to the annual Agricultural and Commercial Show organised in the capital Lusaka. The show is the most important annual event for the agricultural business in Zambia. A video documentary was filmed during the visit in order to document what the farmers have learned during the project. The video will be later shared with other non-governmental organisations and farmers in Zambia to spread the knowledge and experience gained during the project.

At the end of 2013, two project coordinators from GLM Finland visited Zambia to monitor the project’s successes and challenges. The marketing committees formed by local farmers in the partner villages seem to operate well and the committee members are motivated. The farmers have participated in various kinds of training hat has improved their marketing skills. They have learned, for example, about the importance of value addition to ensure that they get better price for their produce. The purchased donkeys are healthy and have adapted well to their new homes. The donkeys have also been used to transport goods, but so far only for short distances. The challenges that the farmers are still facing include insufficient bookkeeping skills as well as lack of mobile network which makes it difficult to contact GLM Zambia’s project coordinator and potential buyers.

During the last year of project implementation, GLM is organising training on bookkeeping for the marketing committees. The committees will also create new business plans for the future, and they are encouraged to diversify the ways the donkeys are used. An application was submitted for a two-year extension of the project in order to strengthen the already learned skills.

GLM Swaziland raising awareness on the World Environment Day

On the 5th June 2014, the world celebrated the World Environment Day under the slogan “Raise Your Voice, Not Emissions”. In Swaziland, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment Affairs with the Swaziland and Environment Authority and various NGOs, including GLM Swaziland, gathered together to make sure that environmental issues are addressed also in Swaziland during this global celebration. The event took place at Siteki Town in the Lubombo region.

Our aim as GLM was to raise awareness of our organisation, its vision and activities among the people present at the event. The event also provided an opportunity for networking with other NGOs. The activities that GLM spread information about included the construction and use of dry sanitation, treatment and re-use of grey water at the household level as well as solid waste disposal with emphasis on reduce, reuse and recycle (3Rs).

GLM participated in World Environment Day

During this year’s World Environment Day (WED) event held in Lusaka on 5th of June, GLM shared information on organic farming and organic pest control as a way of achieving sustainable farming and agriculture as a whole.

Allan Spider Mbulo, an agroforestry farmer working with GLM, said: “Our nature has value because of its ability to sustain production and productivity, and it should not be underestimated. Nature helps small-scale farmers to produce at reduced cost and without polluting the environment”.

GLM teaching what is agroforestry

Small-scale farmer Mr. Allan Mbulo sharing information about organic farming and agroforestry

IPCC released a new report on climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its fifth report on the impacts of climate change. The report is based on multi-disciplinary research on adaptation and mitigation options in different regions. GLM is particularly interested in the situation in southern Africa where the organisation operates.

Impacts will be worse in Africa than in many other regions of the world. The rise in mean temperatures will be faster than the global average increase. In all seasons, minimum and maximum temperatures will rise from 3 to 6 degree during this century. Extreme heat waves follow El Niño events, which means drought. Changes in precipitation are more difficult to forecast because of the lack of measuring it in the past, but decrease is possible, especially in the areas which are already dry.

Changes in the climate will have drastic impacts on the daily life in Africa. The small-scale farmers who GLM works with have already experienced this, since their livelihoods depend largely on agriculture and livestock. IPCC forecasts shorter growing seasons, negative effects on yields as well as changes in vegetation and pests. Agriculture in Zambia is focused on growing maize which may suffer up to 30% losses in yields after 2050. Farmers, therefore, need to start to diversifying their crops in order to ensure food security in the future. Cassava, for example, is resilient to higher temperatures.

Many countries have developed adaptation programmes, but implementation has been slow. The multi-disciplinary nature of climate change and variations in the impacts within each country have been a challenge. Many NGOs have taken responsibility for training local communities. GLM currently supports eight villages in Zambia and two in Swaziland. Our work provides villagers the opportunity to plan their future in a sustainable way. Agroforestry and diversification of livelihood sources are examples of ways to secure life.

Super Analytics improves our visibility in search engines

Super Analytics chose Green Living Movement as a partner to implement a search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing campaign for a website of a charity organisation. GLM in Finland, Zambia and Swaziland will all benefit from this opportunity to improve the visibility of our website! Super Analytics is a digital marketing company specialising in SEO. Once GLM’s findability in search engines improves, we are hoping to get more volunteers and members involved in our work. This project also allows us to finalise our website, a process that started two years ago, in a great way!

super-analytics_logo

New dry sanitation and waste management project in Mbabane

A dry sanitation and waste management project to be implemented in Mbabane between 2014-2016 has received funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The project will be jointly implemented by the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland, Turku University of Applied Sciences, GLM Swaziland, University of Swaziland (UNISWA) and the City Council of Mbabane. The project builds on the long-term cooperation between the Turku University of Applied Sciences with Swaziland partners focusing on environmental issues in the capital Mbabane.

The project is implemented in the communities of Malagwane, Mangwane and Mnyamatsini. It aims to improve the state of the environment in the project areas by developing their sanitation and waste management. Young people, in particular, will be trained on environmental health, dry sanitation, construction of dry toilets, composting, gardening, utilisation of grey water as well as waste management, reuse and recycling. Their capacity will also be strengthened in various other areas including participatory group work, management and leadership. The young people will form a group in their region which will function as an information-sharing channel in the community and also start small-scale businesses on the basis of the acquired knowledge and skills.

In addition to the youth, the project will specifically target local authorities and media. Local authorities will be disseminated information on the opportunities of dry sanitation as an alternative form of sanitation as well as on sustainable waste management. The training will be based on previous sanitation and waste management projects in Msunduza, enabling the replication of solutions, such as a community recycling centre established in Msunduze, in other regions. Sanitation, in particular, poses challenges to development, which is, however, not openly talked about in Swaziland. The project will also bring together media representatives to discuss the topic and to share information about this sensitive issue in various media.

The local partners each play a specific role in the project. GLM Swaziland is responsible for field work, for example, while the University of Swaziland will provide local academic expertise on the topic and enable utilisation of students in the project. As a local authority, the City Council of Mbabane monitors project implementation as well as acts as an expert and network connection to project stakeholders, such as other authorities. This project will provide GLM Swaziland with invaluable experience of a larger-scale initiative, expertise from the other partners as well as visibility as an organisation in a rather limited civil society.