ANNUAL REPORT FOR MUBAYA ECOVILLAGE
A. INTRODUCTION / OVERALL SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY IN 2016
In 2016 the economic and political situation of the country as a whole deteriorated again. The year started with a very bad rain season (instead of rainfalls from November 2015 to February or March 2016, the rains only started falling in January 2016). The harvests were therefore very poor. The animals also suffered a lot due to minimum rain and drinking water. For the villagers this was a challenge too, because most wells did not accumulate enough water to sustain throughout the dry period. As from July we started experiencing political riots in the country because the government wanted to introduce bond notes which some people in the country did not approve. In October the bond money was introduced because of lack of US$ which was the main currency until now. So far the bond notes have been introduced and the country is facing a tremendous shortage of foreign currency and the availability of cash is a big problem to the extent that you cannot get money from the bank or cash point when you want.
B. TRANSFORMATION OF THE MUBAYA VILLAGE
Through the principles of permaculture Centre of Mubaya eco village has transformed the once barren surrounding into a growing example of sustainability. Our aim is to transform the entire village into a sustainable eco village with people that work and support each other and, live together in harmony, be self-sufficient and generate income from their own fields or other activities in the village by 2020. Until now only the demonstration homestead is really functioning this way. But every day people pass from the other homesteads to watch and learn and eventually copy the permaculture principles. One homestead started already.
We started with the borehole project as water is the basic issue and first priority for agriculture and for people to survive. So this was like the birth of the eco village. The bore hole was sunk at a depth of 40m and realizing that we did not have enough water during the dry season we requested for more funds to deepen it to the depth of 60m. We also got a second bore hole which is not fully installed at the moment and we are looking forward to get it running in 2017. What is left on this second bore hole is the installation of the submersible pump and the pressure booster of which we are going to transfer the items from the first bore hole to this one, now that we want to install solar system on the first one. The second bore hole was realized at a cost of US 2000.
The security fence was installed as a security measure to prevent what we are doing now (fields) from animals (especially during the dry season when the animals are let off) and our installations (i.e. bore hole) from thieves. The area which is covered by the fence is about 100x100m. The fence was realized at a cost of US 2793.
We installed drip irrigation over an area of 1 and half hecters of land and the reason why we opted for this system was because of the amount of usually scarce rainfall that we receive every season. It is a reliable system considering the amount of water we save. This system was installed at a cost of US 3090.00
Food Processing Workshop
We had a food processing workshop which we did with the villagers comprised of man and woman this workshop was done in two parts that culminated to two weeks. We worked with a team of about 30 participants with the majority woman. In this workshop we used dried and fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. This was run at a cost of US900.
We finally installed an internet facility. This project basically was for 2017 but due to the need, without internet communication it was becoming very difficult and expensive to do research or staying connected with workshop leaders or the association in Switzerland. So the connection was shifted to 2016. This is a satellite system that does not use fiber optic which is a broadband type of connection so it’s a bit expensive to install and a bit costly on monthly instalments. Where the village is situated there was only the option of this system. It was installed at a cost of US800.
We also constructed a fish pond that is 6x10m big. In this pond we can accommodate 600 breams and again this is in compliance with the principals of permaculture. We can then use the fertilized water into our gardens and get food (fish). This project is not yet 100% completed due to too much work load especially this rain season (end of 2016/beginning 2017) when most people are occupied in the fields. We are on almost 80% of completion. This was constructed at a cost of US630.
We have also planted quite a big number of trees, comprising our local trees and some exotic trees as well. These trees are meant to be distributed to homesteads within the eco village. We have planted so far quite a lot at the Centre and we have distributed a substantial amount to our villagers already. This was facilitated at zero cost. We planted the trees from our own nursery.
Due to a substancial amount of rainfall that we received this season (2016/2017) we realized the need to add some bananas of which we have so far planted more than 20 banana plants and we are looking forward to plant more. We also included some sugar cane which was not on our list for this rain season.
We have also included animals like pigs in our projects. We started with 4 piglets and we now have 14 pigs and this is in compliance with permaculture. We actually get a good supply of manure for our gardens and the need for a bigger space is needed as soon as possible. We also included African chickens. We started with four but now we have over 30 so a need to expand the chicken pan is an urgent requirement. We have some rabbits amounting to 6 and guinea pigs as well amounting to 5.
We are looking forward this year to put some goats and sheep into the project.
Michael Mubaya, 20th February 2017