Le TerraCottem et la faim

Voici le commentaire que je viens d’écrire concernant le message “25.000 meurent chaque jour”, publié à mon blog aujourd’hui.

“La faim et la famine appartiennent aux phénomènes les plus choquants et les plus désastreux de ce monde. Nous sommes tous touchés par la vue d’enfants qui ont faim, la plupart d’entre eux dans les zones sèches, où la pauvreté de la population rurale forme une raison de base de cette plaie mondiale.

Il est donc très frappant que des résultats très positifs, obtenus à partir des années quatre-vingt-dix avec la création de jardins communautaires pour des femmes (Burkina Faso, Sénégal), des jardins scolaires (Cap-Vert, Burkina Faso) ou des petits jardins familiaux (Algérie), ne semblent pas convaincre les autorités internationales et nationales à investir sérieusement dans ces “bonnes pratiques”, qui sont tellement faciles à dupliquer pour atténuer la faim et la pauvreté.

Si les agriculteurs locaux, dont la majorité sont des femmes, savent produire plus de nourriture avec la moitié du volume normal de l’eau d’arrosage, simplement en appliquant une seule fois un conditionneur de sol comme le TerraCottem (voir http://www.terracottem.com), pourquoi nous n’investissons pas plus dans la multiplication des jardins potagers pour les villageois et les écoliers ?

Jetez un coup d’oeil à mon blog <www.desertification.wordpress.com>, voyez ce que nous faisons avec UNICEF ALGERIE pour la création de jardins de famille dans les camps des réfugiés Sahraouis dans le désert du Sahara et vous serez convaincus qu’il existe une belle solution pour le problème de la faim.

Il suffit de l’appliquer pour casser la spirale négative. Je sais que la population rurale n’a pas l’argent pour se procurer suffisamment de nourriture et qu’elle est constamment mal nourrie. Ainsi elle devient plus faible et plus souvent malade.

Des sommes fabuleuses ont été et sont toujours dépensées pour des programmes et projets très diversifiés et ambitieux. Mais quoi, si nous investissons dans la création de jardins avec le TerraCottem, offrant à la population rurale une bonne opportunité pour produire sa propre nourriture, même dans une période de seulement 2-3 mois ?

La production de nourriture fraîche, plaine de vitamines et d’éléments minéraux, la rend continuellement plus apte à travailler, ce qui les rend même moins affamés et un peu plus riche (possibilité d’apporter des légumes au marché local).

Je ne vois pas de voie plus facile et meilleure pour créer une spirale positive. Et souvenez-vous, voire c’est croire !C’est ce que nos amis, les Sahraouis nous ont dit après avoir vu les premiers succès avec leurs jardins de familles et leurs arbres traités au TerraCottem.

Le jour viendra …

25,000 die each day – 25,000 meurent chaque jour (bewing)

Read at :

http://bewing.wordpress.com/2007/03/28/25000-die-each-day/#comment-693

 

25,000 die each day

“About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds, as you can see on this display. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often.Yet there is plenty of food in the world for everyone. The problem is that hungry people are trapped in severe poverty. They lack the money to buy enough food to nourish themselves. Being constantly malnourished, they become weaker and often sick. This makes them increasingly less able to work, which then makes them even poorer and hungrier. This downward spiral often continues until death for them and their families.”

2002-02 Toubacouta
2002-02 : Toubacouta (Senegal) – Community garden for women in the Sahel region – Excellent production with only half of the normal quantity of irrigation water – Look at the dark, healthy, continuously moistened soil.

2002-02 : Toubacouta (Senegal) – Jardin communautaire pour les femmes dans la région Sahélienne – Production fantastique avec seulement la moitié de la quantité normale d’eau d’arrosage. Voyez la terre noire, saine, continuellement mouillée.

2003-03 Escola Pretoria
2003-03 : Cabo Verde (Isla do Sal – Escola Pretoria) – Splendid school garden – Former schoolyard transformed into a “garden of Eden”, producing fresh vegetables for the lunches at school. See the happy children ?

2003-03 : Cap Vert (Isla do Sal – Escola Pretoria) – Jardin scolaire splendide – La cour de l’école transformée en “jardin d’Eden”, produisant des légumes frais pour les repas de midi à l’école. Vous voyez les enfants heureux ?

2007-02 - Smara
2007-02 : Sahraouis refugee camp of Smara (S.W. Algeria) – Sahara desert sand transformed into a magnificent family garden (25 m2, sufficient to feed the family). Water and fertilizer saving TerraCottem applied in october 2006; first vegetables (red beetroot and carrots) harvested in november 2006. For the first time all the family members can eat fresh vegetables from their own garden.

2007-02 : Smara, camp des réfugiés Sahraouis (S.W. Algérie) – Le sable du désert Sahara transformé en jardin familial (25 m2 suffisent pour nourrir la famille). Le TerraCottem, appliqué en octobre 2006, économise l’eau et les engrais; premiers légumes (betteraves rouges et carottes) récoltés en novembre 2006. Pour la première fois tous les membres de la famille peuvent manger des légumes frais de leur propre jardin.

MY COMMENT

Hunger and famine belong to the most chocking and disastrous phenomena on this world. We all get really touched when seeing hungry children, mostly in the drylands, where poverty of the rural people is one of the basic reasons for this plague.

Therefore, it is striking that very positive results, obtained since the nineties with creation of community gardens for women (Burkina Faso, Senegal), school gardens (Cabo Verde, Burkina Faso) or small family gardens (Algeria), do not seem to convince international or national authorities to invest seriously in these easy to duplicate “best practices” to alleviate hunger and poverty.

If local farmers, mostly women, can produce more crops with half of the normal volume of irrigation water, simply by applying one single time a soil conditioner like TerraCottem (see http://www.terracottem.com), why don’t we invest more in the multiplication of vegetable gardens for villagers and school children?

Have a look at my blog <www.desertification.wordpress.com>, see what we are doing with UNICEF ALGERIA for the creation of family gardens in the refugee camps of the Sahraouis people in the Sahara desert, and you will be convinced that a nice solution for the hunger problem exists.

It suffices to apply it to break the downward spiral. I know that the rural population in the drylands lacks the money to buy enough food and being constantly malnourished, is becoming weaker and often sick. Fabulous amounts of money have been and are spent on very diverse, ambitious programmes and projects. What if we would invest in the creation of gardens with TerraCottem, offering the rural people a nice opportunity to produce their own food, even within a period of 2-3 months? Production of fresh food, full of vitamins and mineral elements, makes them increasingly more able to work, which then makes them even less hungry and a bit wealthier (possibility to bring vegetables to the local market).

I see no easier and better way to create an upward spiral. And remember, seeing is believing. That’s what our friends the Sahraouis have been telling us after registering the first successes with their TerraCottem-treated gardens and trees.

The day will come …

Rural development in Morocco (dgAlert)

Published at

http://topics.developmentgateway.org/aideffectiveness/ 

Survival, Change and Decision-Making in Rural Households: Three Village Case Studies from Eastern Morocco

“Elhouafi and Taghilast are poor communities where rainfed cereal production and extensive livestock-rearing are practised in increasingly degraded natural environments. In spite of the many similarities between the two villages, the case studies reveal a number of important differences in terms of (i) survival strategies, (ii) perceptions and priorities, (iii) environmental circumstances, (iv) community organization and (v) the role of women in the household economy and in decision-making. The situation in Oulad Lfqir is, in turn, different from that of other, similar villages with irrigation-based economies, owing to a single critical variable: river pollution.

Continue reading “Rural development in Morocco (dgAlert)”

IFAD in Morocco (dgAlert)

Published at

http://topics.developmentgateway.org/aideffectiveness/

IFAD in Morocco

“Since 1979, IFAD has financed nine rural development projects in Morocco, for a total of US$146.3 million. Four of the projects are ongoing. The first generation of projects, over the period 1979 to 1986, focused mainly on increasing rainfed and irrigated agricultural production on a nationwide basis, developing opportunities for short-term and medium-term credit for poor farmers. The second generation of projects, focused mainly on marginal areas and included many types of activities such as soil and water conservation, upgrading rural roads and infrastructure — particularly water supplies— and institution-building and support. Third-generation projects are built around the objective of socioeconomic development in poor regions where rainfed agriculture is the main source of income. Design and implementation focus on active participation by rural poor people in rural investment projects, and on accountability for implementing and maintaining planned activities, to ensure their sustainability. IFAD’s 1999 strategy in Morocco consolidates and supports the government’s work in combating rural poverty. IFAD supports efforts to: give priority to communities’ development needs and strengthen poor people’s participation in decision-making; promote food security nationally and among poor households by diversifying production and promoting products that have a comparative advantage in national and international markets; strengthen decentralized planning and implementation, by supporting local and civil society institutions; improve rural poor people’s access to productive resources such as land, water, technical expertise and financial services; IFAD projects and programmes target areas with poor agricultural potential in mountainous zones, rangelands and arid zones in the south. Participation by communities, particularly women and young people, is central to the strategy.”

Agriculture, poverty and aid

Agriculture, poverty and aid

 I have read the following text at

<dgAlert@developmentgateway.org> 

 

Across the globe 1.2 billion people live in absolute poverty. Of these, almost 300 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of these people are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers.

The European Commission’s (EC) aid programme should offer hope in the face of this crisis, yet it is failing to reach those who need it most. Urgent reforms are required to avert future humanitarian crises and conflict.

African Voices in Europe exposes the failures of EC aid to reach farmers and livestock keepers across Africa, and explores how EC aid could be more effectively targeted to achieve its objective of poverty reduction.

Continue reading “Agriculture, poverty and aid”

Rural finance and rural poverty (IFAD)

Read at the Rural poverty portal

http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/

Rural finance and rural poverty

More than a billion poor people lack access to the basic financial services which are essential for them to manage their precarious lives.

“Good management of even the smallest assets can be crucial to very poor people, who live in precarious conditions, threatened by lack of income, shelter and food. To overcome poverty, they need to be able to borrow, save and invest, and to protect their families against risk. But with little income or collateral, poor people are seldom able to obtain loans from banks and other formal financial institutions. And even when they do have income or collateral, the amounts they require are often too small to appeal to banks.

Continue reading “Rural finance and rural poverty (IFAD)”

Wastewater irrigation empowers Kenya’s urban farmers

Wastewater irrigation empowers Kenya’s urban farmers

Found at the website of “African Agriculture”

http://africanagriculture.blogspot.com/ 

“………………..


Mary, Florence and other farmers in Maili Saba and Kibera use untreated sewage water to irrigate their vegetable crops, a practice they continue without the use of protective clothing. In this way they are able to maintain production throughout the year, except when there is a shortage of water in Nairobi and the middle income households do not flush their toilets or throw away waste water.

Continue reading “Wastewater irrigation empowers Kenya’s urban farmers”

Women bear the brunt of desertification in Cameroon (Africa Environment)

Interesting publication on this blog

http://africaenvironment.blogspot.com/2007/03/women-bear-brunt-of-desertification-in.html

The village of Ngouma has a population of 538 people, 406 of whom are women. Most of the men, have left in the face of land degradation and even desertification.

Stock breeders are migrating to grazing new areas and fishermen are going north to Lake Chad, nine kilometres away. Those who do not have fixed employment are going to the cities,” said village chief said Yaya Djouldé.

Since the early 1970s, Ngouma and other villages in the province of Maroua have only received about 200 mm of rain annually, says Martin Ndongmo, an agroforestry engineer who works for the environment ministry. The national rainfall average is 1,500 mm. “This water shortage has led to great degradation of arable land. Deforestation and overgrazing have come to finish off nature’s work,” said Ndongmo, noting that the average temperature in the shade is 45 degrees Celcius.

In the face of long, dry seasons lasting seven to eight months of the year, those who earn a living from agriculture increasingly seek their fortunes elsewhere. “Our husbands and children have left one after the other, leaving us to survive here alone. We walk about eight kilometres every day just in search of water, which is often unclean,” says Chantal Moudeina, a 41-year-old resident of Ngouma.

According to statistics from the ministry of agriculture, 11,421 of Maroua’s 34,263 square kilometres have been affected by desertification. This has resulted in 25,000 people in the region being threatened by famine. “Seasonal migration, problems between cattle breeders and farmers, food insecurity and waterborne diseases in these areas are, for the most part, the consequences of desertification,” says Lucie Aboudi of Save the Earth, an NGO based in Maroua. Continue reading “Women bear the brunt of desertification in Cameroon (Africa Environment)”

Pictures of UNICEF project in Algeria? Des images du projet UNICEF en Algérie?

I am currently composing some albums of pictures of our UNICEF project in the refugee camps near Tindouf (S.W. Algeria). Those interested in having a look at the albums (with English and French legend for each picture) can send me a comment on this announcement (click “add a comment” above). I will then send them the albums over e-mail. Looking out for your reply.

Actuellement je compose des albums différents avec mes photos de notre projet UNICEF dans les camps des réfugiés près de Tindouf (S.W. Algérie). Tous ceux qui veulent recevoir une copie de ces albums (avec légende en Français et en Anglais pour chaque photo) peuvent m’envoyer un commentaire à ce message (cliquez “add a comment” plus haut) et je leur enverrai les albums par e-mail. Au plaisir de vous lire.

Gender and the Environment – Le genre et l’environnement

Have a look at the UNEP website (http://www.unep.org/) and find interesting information on this subject.

Voyez le site du PNUE (http://www.unep.org/) pour y trouver des informations intéressantes sur ce sujet.

How to improve the life and health of women and children in dryland rural areas ?

Here is the text of my talk at the Beijing Conference on “Women and Desertification” in May 2006:

I. INTRODUCTION

Desertification is one of the most alarming processes of environmental degradation. The General Assembly of the United Nations has underlined its deep concern for the exacerbation of desertification, particularly in Africa, and its far-reaching implications for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was called a key instrument for poverty eradication in dryland rural areas.

Generally, the combat of desertification is seen as a task for international and national organizations. Almost every country has ratified the UNCCD and in most cases the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Development Cooperation are responsible for all aspects of the Convention. Nevertheless, one knows that also non-governmental organizations (NGOs) take a lot of interesting initiatives within the framework of drought and desertification.

The Desertification Convention entered into force in 1995. In the beginning, accredited NGOs were authorized to attend the COPs only as observers. It took quite a time to let them participate in the debates. The Convention text underlines clearly the important role of women in regions affected by drought and desertification. As a large number of NGOs are specifically active in those rural areas and they develop activities in favour of the rural people, it is clear that they can play a very important role in the implementation of the Convention, in particular with actions in the field. Therefore, many NGO actions are now seen as valuable contributions to the work of the UNCCD. More and more, the field expertise of the NGOs is taken into consideration.

It sounds peculiar that many NGOs do not recognize themselves that they are combating desertification. This is the result of the fact that almost never the word “desertification” is used in the description of their projects for sustainable development. Here are some examples:

(i) Projects for improvement of the soil are normally indicated as “agronomy project”. It can be measures to limit soil erosion, to reduce land degradation or to rehabilitate land. These are typical means to combat desertification, but they are not classified as such.
(ii) Projects to improve water use by the rural people. In many cases, this is aiming at provision of drinking water (public health). Sometimes, NGO projects also contribute to efficient use of irrigation water, which would normally be classified under desertification measures.
(iii) Many NGO projects contain actions to enhance the fertility of soils and the economic properties of the soil. This is rather seen as an agronomy activity than as a desertification activity.
(iv) Actions to prevent the loss of natural vegetation and also reforestation projects are rather attached to the Biodiversity Convention (CBD).
(v) Attention for actions to combat desertification with measures focusing the alleviation of poverty in the drylands is rather poor. The direct link between poverty and land degradation is generally not recognized.

Desertification is often seen as a natural phenomenon of advancing deserts, but this is a common misperception. On the contrary, desertification is all about land degradation or losses of fertile land and biological productivity, resulting from various factors, including human activities and climatic variations. It affects one third of the earth’s surface and over a billion people, mostly in dryland areas. It contributes to food insecurity and famine, having also devastating consequences in terms of social, economic and political tensions, sometimes even causing conflicts. The rural poor people in developing countries, at the very heart of the drought problem, are particularly vulnerable, because they have to draw their means of existence from the arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Therefore, the UN General Assembly has declared 2006 the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.

Drylands host some of the most magnificent ecosystems of this world: the deserts, unique natural habitats with very diverse fauna and flora, which also host very old civilizations. The International Year of Deserts and Desertification (IYDD) therefore celebrates the beauty and heritage of the world’s deserts.

All countries and civil society organizations have been encouraged to undertake special initiatives to mark the IYDD. A concerted effort to raise awareness of desertification aims at translating ideas, knowledge and expertise into concrete actions in the field. The best practices have been identified. Success stories in the combat of desertification and the alleviation of poverty have been largely illustrated and documented.

Remark inserted today March 10th, 2007

In May 2006 I had the honour and pleasure of being the president of a Belgian NGO, called TC-DIALOGUE Foundation, of which I described the objectives and activities for the participants in Beijing.

For personal reasons, not related to the Foundation itself, I resigned in June 2006. The Foundation is now called “Terr@dialoog” (see coordinates at the end of this posting).

Here is the text of my talk in May 2006:

Continue reading “How to improve the life and health of women and children in dryland rural areas ?”

International Women’s Day: What about women in the developing world?

United Nations Info

http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/women/womday97.htm

International Women’s Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women’s groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for “liberty, equality, fraternity” marched on Versailles to demand women’s suffrage.

The Role of the United Nations

Few causes promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. Since then, the Organization has helped create a historic legacy of internationally agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide. Over the years, United Nations action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: promotion of legal measures; mobilization of public opinion and international action; training and research, including the compilation of gender desegregated statistics; and direct assistance to disadvantaged groups. Today a central organizing principle of the work of the United Nations is that no enduring solution to society’s most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world’s women.

For more information, contact:

Development Section
Department of Public Information
Room S-1040, United Nations, New York, NY 10017
Email: mediainfo@un.org”

Getting a lot of interesting information through DEVELOPMENT GATEWAY (see the link under BLOGROLL in the right column of this blog), I found today a message from

dgAlert@developmentgateway.org

9. Women and work: Jobs for the girls
http://topics.developmentgateway.org/youth/rc/ItemDetail.do?itemId=1092700
“MAN may labour from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done, says the old proverb. To add insult to injury, she gets less out of her labours than he does. In both rich and poor countries, poverty most often has a feminine face. It is bad enough…
Contributed by Emmanuel Asomba on 05 Mar 2007
”.

For the full text I went to:

http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=8792052&fsrc=RSS

Continue reading “International Women’s Day: What about women in the developing world?”

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