It seems so long since I saw any of you, but that is what COVID has meant to us. We have grown used to the strangely quiet restaurant and lodge, which is coupled to a loss of income that Tiko can ill afford. Like so many countries, we are also experiencing the effects of global warming, even if less dramatically than in some places, The rains were heavier than usual in the hot season which even helped some crops, but if the temperature in the hot season was high the cold season has been colder than usual. We shivered through this year’s AGM in the verandah with the cold air blowing freely through.
Despite the ongoing problems with electricity hindering our efforts to establish a prosperous village chicken rearing and chicken feed project we have managed to pull through and as you will see below a new crowdfunding project has been set up to tackle the increasing shortage of fuel for cooking that faces so many people here. The crew are vaccinated, and some visitors have recently appeared. With the help of Otto Pro Mille we are ready with the new ablution block and will soon have completed training courses for bookkeeping, lodge management and electrical work.
NEW GLOBALGIVING CROWDFUNDING PROJECT – TO RAISE € 4,525
Everyone needs cooked food; the problem is how to cook it without gas or electricity plus an ever-decreasing supply of fuel for a fire. The fire must be outside as an open fire inside the house would give dangerous smoke and fumes. Our answer is to use small efficient clay stoves in an open kitchen outside, and use firewood not in the form of logs, which is the traditional way, but in very small pieces. We are giving axes to the households with clay stoves, so they can do what is needed
We empower poor subsistence farmers, where the ability to cook food is a huge problem. Electricity is expensive & unreliable; charcoal has led to extensive deforestation and traditional cooking methods use large tree trunks. C19 has hugely impacted already poverty-stricken rural Zambia, driving up inflation and ending income from visitors and volunteers from overseas. We promote growing and efficient use of firewood as a source of renewable energy for cooking to reduce poverty & deforestation.
Cooking on a clay stove a with small opening, not on three stones and big sticks and open to the weather. The stick above is still too long!
Challenge: Tikondane Community Centre assists 75 poor subsistence farmers. Their basic need to cook food in their homesteads cannot be filled by electricity as even if available, it is far too expensive. Charcoal has been used for many years, but when available, is not obtained legally. Extensive deforestation caused by making charcoal causes erosion, while charcoal is increasingly scarce and expensive.
Solution: Tikondane already pays school fees for schoolgirls, who will plant and care for tree seedlings in return for earning pocket money. Families will then use clay stoves designed to burn very small pieces to produce efficient and consistent heat. They (clay stoves) are easy to build and repair but need a roof cover to protect from rain damage (see pictures). Cooking outside the house prevents smoke inhalation and efficient cooking improves livelihoods and is ecological.
Long-Term Impact: Growing trees as a renewable energy will reduce the present degree of poverty and combat climate change, while being respectful of local traditions. Children and future generations will embrace the importance of cultivation and conservation, as well as budgeting and ability to earn money for future sustainability. Most importantly, ending the use of charcoal will prevent deforestation and erosion while combatting climate change. For full information on how to donate go to: GlobalGiving Cooking on more efficient clay stoves
With flocks of village chickens in two chicken houses and great enthusiasm, the project started only to encounter a series of setbacks with electricity supplies and incubators. Despite all problems the chickens are doing their best and we managed to sell fertilized eggs and incubate eggs to provide chicks for the chicken houses of Joy and Joyce and members of the community.
Chicken food is expensive but for months our intention to produce it ourselves was thwarted by the failure of ZESCO to supply a connection. From September 2020 we have been waiting for ZESCO to install a three-phase connection to the production unit for a dehuller to process our maize to provide both hunger help and chicken feed. We have progressed to having a pole in the right place, but there is still no connection from the pole to production unit We have also bought an oil mill and, when it is operating, will be able to sell sunflower oil at lower than local prices to the crew and sunflower cake for chicken feed.
So, after initial setbacks with incubators and inverters, we now have four batteries and a working inverter, a small generator and a new incubator Our 40 black Austrolorps and Joy’s 60 Kuroilers are laying their eggs, even now with the day temperatures reaching 32 degrees Celsius but showing some reluctance because of the cold nights.
Even with our intermittent production of chicks, we now have enough chicks for Tigris and Joyce and Vera to soon have their cocks eaten and have their layers laying in the houses that were built for them.
MORE CHICKEN FOOD
In addition to producing bran we got some new ideas about chicken feed from Lydia, who we met at a World Bank meeting. Chickens thrive on easily bred black soldier fly maggots that are easily bred and on Azolla, an easily grown water plant which contains protein. Azolla is being increasingly found in many countries including Zambia and with the aid of Lydia we have already made a pond at Tiko. The pond was started with dark soil mixed with cow dung. When this mix has settled, some azolla is added to start things going and soon the pond is covered by green azolla which can be harvested in ten days and fed to chickens. Every two weeks manure is added and after half a year, the pond will be cleared out and the cycle started again.
YAMS – A SUCCESSFUL NEW VENTURE
Those who enjoyed the yams with their meal after the AGM and others who had tried them are eager to grow them, despite the hard work of preparing the soil. We were assured that a better harvest can be expected after the first season and more compost.
By now you will all have received the minutes of the Annual General meeting and Financial Statement and understand some of the problems Tiko is facing. Despite the increasing difficulties brought abought by climate change, we are forging ahead to help the crew and people of the wider district to develop a more prosperous lifestyle and counting on the continued support of Tiko’s many friends.
For now we can just wish you all bearable times with covid-related on/off lockdowns and other problems, but if you think how valiant our people here are with their very basic problems of hunger and unemployment, and that you are helping us for so many in that respect, you may feel a little better.
With all our love Elke and the Crew
– For donation information please have a look on ‘Support Tiko’ –