One world: New Zealand/Algeria – Un monde unique: La Nouvelle Zélande/Algérie

MESSAGE FROM THE ANTIPODS

I just received this nice message from Jenny LITCHFIELD (New Zealand):

Dear Willem,

That’s very kind of you to write. Thank you. Your Desertification link has been added to my blog. Your project reports are fascinating to read. I had no idea such work existed in this arid region – perhaps, unfortunately, that’s a reflection of how remote New Zealand is. The impression I get is that essentially we want the same things for our families and loved ones. My heart goes out to the women in Algeria and I admire their endeavours to provide healthy fresh food for their children with your support. My gardening messages are informed by practical gardening experiences, personal observations, knowledge passed on from older people I have known, intuition, a strong sense of ecological values, reflection and lots of reading. I love to engage children in the environment in naturally occurring ways. I am a specialist teacher of learning and behaviour in secondary schools and understand only too well the basic human needs of children and youth must be met in order that they might learn in ways that have meaning to them and in ways that are relevant to their lives. Kind regards, Jenny.

Boumerdès
Boumerdès (Algeria). A school where love for nature and the right ecological principles is visible all over the premises. Here we start a school garden for vegetable production.

Boumerdès (Algérie). Une école où l’amour pour la nature et les bons principes écologiques est visible partout. Ici nous construisons un jardin potager de l’école.

Boumerdès

Girls and boys already made a collection of medicinal plants.

Filles et garçons soignent déjà leur collection de plantes médicinales.

—————-

Well Jenny, that’s the way I love to cooperate with likeminded people from all over the world. It shows how close our minds are, right across oceans and frontiers, as if New Zealand and Algeria are neigbours of Belgium. Our minds should never be divided by political or religious barriers. We should never hesitate to help people living in conditions much worse than ours. Development cooperation is one of the nicest things on earth: we are able to share our experience and expertise with the people in the developing world to make their standards of living better too. And gardening is one of the nicest and most practical fields . Let us not be selfish ! Sharing our knowledge and transferring our cost-effective and affordable technologies should be considered as one of the important step towards effective development aid. Therefore, let us try to translate our experience into simple and practical methods, easily applicable in the developing world, where human beings are counting upon our contributions. Sincere thanks, Willem.

RESUME FRANCAIS

Voici un message de Jenny LITCHFIELD (Nouvelle Zélande). Elle trouve les rapports sur nos projets dans les régions arides fascinants. En fait, nous voulons tous et toutes la même chose pour nos familles et ceux qui nous sont chers. Le coeur de Jenny bat pour les femmes de l’Algérie et les efforts qu’elles produisent pour obtenir une nourriture saine pour leurs familles, avec l’aide de l’UNICEF. Professeur à l’enseignement secondaire, Jenny comprend très bien les besoins de base des enfants.

C’est bien de ce trouver à la même longeur d’ondes!

Des légumes dans le désert – Vegetables in the desert

Beaucoup de gens pensent qu’il est impossible de cultiver des légumes dans le désert. Je veux vous montrer une série de photos remarquables sur notre projet UNICEF dans le désert du Sahara, appelé “Jardins familiaux dans les camps des réfugiés Sahraouis“. Ces camps se trouvent au S.W. de l’Algérie (région de Tindouf). Grâce à l’utilisation du conditionneur de sol TerraCottem (www.terracottem.com), les réfugiés peuvent maintenant cultiver toutes sortes de légumes pour compléter la quantité de vitamines et d’éléments minéraux dans leur régime quotidien. Comme des images en disent beaucoup plus que mille mots, je veux vous présenter une série de photos prises en janvier 2007.

Many people think it is impossible to grow vegetables in the desert. I want to show you a lot of remarkable pictures on our UNICEF project in the Sahara desert, called “Family gardens in the refugee camps of the Sahraouis”. These camps are situated in S.W. Algeria (region of Tindouf). Thanks to the use of the soil conditioner TerraCottem (www.terracottem.com) the refugees can now grow all kinds of vegetables to complete the quantity of vitamins and mineral elements in their daily diet. As images say more than a thousand words, here I will present a series of pictures taken in January 2007.

Smara
Vue sur une des dairas dans la wilaya de Smara.

View on one of the dairas in the wilaya of Smara

Garden without TC 01
Un jardin familial sans application du conditionneur de sol TerraCottem (le sable pur du désert). Différents légumes ensemencés en octobre 2006. Plantes toujours petites malgré un arrosage quotidien avec une eau saumatre.

A family garden without application of the soil conditioner TerraCottem (pure desert sand). Different vegetables seeded in october 2006. Plants still small, although watered every day with brackish water.

Jardin de famille sans TC
Même après 3 mois les légumes ne sont pas encore consommables.

Even after 3 months the vegetables are not ready to be consumed.

Taleb’s garden

Le jardin de l’ingénieur Taleb BRAHIM, traité au TerraCottem (TC), arrosé par goutte-à-goutte tous les 3 jours au lieu de chaque jour. Betteraves rouges et carottes récoltées à partir de la 7me semaine.

The garden of engineer Taleb BRAHIM, treated with TerraCottem (TC), drip-irrigated every 3 days instead of every day. Red beetroots and carrots eaten from the 7th week off.

Janssens and carrot
Mr. Raymond JANSSENS, Représentant d’UNICEF ALGERIE, avec une des carottes magnifiques du jardin de Taleb BRAHIM (arrière-plan).

Mr. Raymond JANSSENS, Representative of UNICEF ALGERIA, with a magnificent carrot from the garden of Taleb BRAHIM (in the back).

Garden with TC
Voici un jardin familial traité au TerraCottem en octobre 2006. Arrosage seulement tous les 2 jours. Production remarquable. Légumes consommés à partir de 6 semaines après l’ensemencement. Quel magnifique jardin de légumes dans le Sahara !

Here is a family garden treated with TerraCottem in october 2006. It is watered only every 2 days. Remarkable production. Vegetables consumed from the 6th week off. What a splendid garden in the Sahara desert !

Jardin avec TC
Pouuriez-vous vous imaginer que ce beau jardin peut être réalisé au désert? Grâce au TerraCottem l’arrosage y est limitée à 50 % du volume normal et la production végétale est au moins doublée.

Can you imagine that this garden is created in the desert? Thanks to TerraCottem watering is limited to 50 % of the normal volume and plant production is at least the double.

Communicating international development research (id21): Water

Natural Resource Highlights” are published annually by id21, which is hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex in Brighton, BN1 9RE (UK). It is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

id21 publishes these highlights on agriculture, conservation, fisheries, forestry, land, rural livelihoods and water. On the website http://www.id21.org/nr you will find the full range of over 2000 research highlights.

I read the 2006 issues on all the above fields of interest and found very interesting contributions:

WATER

1. The value of rainfed agriculture in a world short of water.
2. Efficient water use tackles food insecurity.
3. Managing groundwater for dry season irrigation.
4. Water access in Ethiopia: can conflict be avoided?
5. Women and water in Sierra Leone.
6. Community priorities for water rights.

A number of useful websites are mentioned. These offer new possibilities for collecting information:

Continue reading “Communicating international development research (id21): Water”

Communicating international development research (id21): Land

Natural Resource Highlights” are published annually by id21, which is hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex in Brighton, BN1 9RE (UK). It is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

id21 publishes these highlights on agriculture, conservation, fisheries, forestry, land, rural livelihoods and water. On the website http://www.id21.org/nr you will find the full range of over 2000 research highlights.

I read the 2006 issues on all the above fields of interest and found very interesting contributions:

LAND

1. Privatising common land in Botswana.
2. Land disputes in Ghana.
3. Women and land rights in India.
4. Why do the Maasai split up group ranches?
5. Evaluating land policies in highland Ethiopia.
6. Agrarian reform and rural poverty in South Africa.

A number of useful websites are mentioned. These offer new possibilities for collecting information:

Continue reading “Communicating international development research (id21): Land”

Gardens in the desert – Jardins dans le désert

MESSAGE IN ENGLISH + FRANCAIS (voir plus loin)

Within its Nutrition Programme, UNICEF ALGERIA launched in 2006 a splendid project, called “Family gardens in the refugee camps of the Sahraouis“. These camps are located in the region of Tindouf (S.W. Algeria).

I will try to show the success stories of this project by inviting you to have a look at a series of pictures with legends about the small gardens created in different camps. Please do not forget that these gardens are constructed in the Sahara desert, with all its possible constraints (climate, availibilty of water, soil, salinity etc.).

Have a look at the following URL and double click on the pictures to see the enlarged version and the legend:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24356485@N00/sets/72157594524730196/

Interesting isn’t it ?

——————————————————————-
Dans le cadre de son Programme Nutrition, UNICEF ALGERIE vient de lancer en 2006 son projet “Jardins Familiaux dans les camps des réfugiés Sahraouis“. Ces camps se trouvent dans la région de Tindouf (S.W. Algérie).

Je veux essayer de vous montrer les cas de succès de ce projet en vous invitant à voir une série de photos et de légendes concernant ces petits jardins créés dans différents camps. Veuillez ne pas oublier que ces jardins ont été construits dans le désert Sahara, avec toutes ses contraintes possibles (climat, disponibilité de l’eau, sol, salinité etc.).

Visitez l’URL suivant et cliquez deux fois sur une photo pour la voir en agrandissement et avec la légende:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24356485@N00/sets/72157594524730196/

Intéressant, non ?

Désertification, information, coopération.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT

Receiving more and more comments on former posts, I confirm hereby my intention to strive for closer cooperation between all people active in the field of combating desertification. Let us join hands and start exchanging information on success stories and best practices, even if we don’t speak the same language.

Here is an example concerning the construction of family gardens in S.W. Algeria (the refugee camps of the Sahraouis). My comment is in French, but I can provide an English translation to all interested people.

COMMENT RECEIVED ON FEB. 12
COMMENTAIRE RECU LE 12 FEVRIER

yahiaoui fouzia | yahiaouif@yahoo.fr | IP: 81.22.65.133

Bonjour,

J’ai trouvé ce site en cherchant des informations sur l’arganier et je félicite tous les acteurs qui ont travaillé pour le projet des jardins dans la région de Tindouf. C’est une très belle initiative pour la lutte contre la désertification et l’intégration des femmes dans les programmes de développement durable. Ce projet est un exemple à suivre pour l’immensité des régions arides et semi-arides.

Aussi, est ce possible d’avoir un peu plus d’informations sur la méthode utilisée ou des orientations pour la réalisation de ces jardins.

Autre chose: est ce qu’il est possible d’avoir des informations par l’intermédiaire de l’ingénieur forestier de Tindouf sur la répartition et la quantité des spécimens d’arganier qui se trouvent à Tindouf.

Merci.

Yahiaoui Fouzia
Ingénieur écodéveloppement des zones arides et semi-arides.
Conservation de la nature.

MY REPLY
MA REPONSE

Cher Yahiaoui Fouzia,

Merci pour votre appréciation pour le projet UNICEF ALGERIE, avec lequel nous essayons de compléter le panier alimentaire des réfugiés Sahraouis vivant déjà 30 ans dans des camps près de Tindouf (S.W. de l’Algérie). Vous savez sans doute que ce panier des Nations Unies vient d’être réduit considérablement. Ainsi, les réserves nutritionnelles des Sahraouis ont été épuisées et la malnutrition se fait de plus en plus sentir, en particulier chez les enfants.

C’est la raison pourquoi nous voulons, aussitôt que possible, offrir à toutes les familles des camps un petit jardin familial de 20 à 30 mètres carrés seulement. Nous avons calculé qu’un tel petit jardin est suffisant pour compléter le panier alimentaire des Nations Unies, en particulier pour l’approvisionnement en vitamines et éléments minéraux.

Continue reading “Désertification, information, coopération.”

Poverty reduction through group approach

I read this morning at the “Development Gateway” on poverty the following abstract :
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1. NEW HIGHLIGHT: Group approach to poverty reduction
———————————————————————————————-

The poor (destitute, isolated, risk averters with low-income and poor infrastructure) can grow out of poverty provided their basic rights are re-stored and other civil society opportunities are made available to them. One successful approach to grow out of poverty is to organize poor into small groups, then organizations and finally federations or networks.

Why group approach to poverty reduction has been successful?
– Groups bring solidarity, strength, mutual help, pooling their resources, empowerment, emergency help, remove being helpless and takes them out of isolation
– Like minded people to share experiences, problems and successes
– Poor can learn from and adapt to their piers
– Seeing progress made by their piers make them progressive

The group approach also provides several benefits to the poverty reduction worker such as bring the poor together, pooling of learning resources, higher efficiency of training, more accessible, etc. So much so all successful poverty reduction initiatives are based on group principles.”

I couldn’t help thinking at our multiple initiatives with the Belgian TC-Dialogue Foundation, with which we organized humanitarian projects within the framework of combating desertification and alleviating poverty. First of all, it should be clear that desertification is strongly linked to poverty. Indeed, it are generally the poorest rural people in the drylands suffering the most of drought and desertification. That is why we have mostly been setting up community gardens for women and school gardens.

Continue reading “Poverty reduction through group approach”

Community garden (Horticulture) in Burkina Faso

Together with my team of the University of Ghent and in cooperation with the Dutch Committee Maastricht-Niou, I have set up different development projects in Burkina Faso since 1988. Reforestation and creation of community gardens for women have been the main topics (see other postings).

In 1997, we started the application of the soil conditioner TerraCottem (TC), as a project of the Belgian TC-DIALOGUE Foundation (see the website http://www.tcdialogue.be). In the community garden for women of the village of Niou (Kourweogo Province, Burkina Faso), some 2500 square meter of the vegetable garden were treated with that water saving soil conditioner. A smaller part of the garden remained untreated (control plot).

Capacity building
1997-07 Capacity building in the garden : members of the local women’s association Gueswende got information about TC-application and its role (Photo Monique Van Endert 1997)

Continue reading “Community garden (Horticulture) in Burkina Faso”

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