Eugénie arrived this weekend. She came from a snowy Boston to a 40° C climate via  windy and rainy Netherlands. Here there is no rain but it is really becoming hot with a lot of dust in the air.

The farm of Sokourani

In Sokourani we have a farm of 22 Ha. It was supposed to be a training ground for young farmers but we have not been able to find the right model for it yet.

During the rainy seasons, agricultural school students have to make a training of at least 2 months. The farm of Sokourani takes around 10 students in each year. This also help us work the 17 Ha already open on the farm. We are paying them for this.

There is a long dry period in Burkina. How can we pay for the farmer during this period? For any type of activity we need water. So we have invested in a downhole pump powered by solar panels and a water tank. This allows us to have enough water to grow peppers on 2.000 m2. If things work out this will enable us to go through the dry season and also make some profit.

Pepper plants on March 2

Pepper plants on March 13

  Meeting with the village of Sokourani

Following the setup we have at the farm described above, we wanted to know how the village felt about having such a system as well. Not for gardening but just for water distribution: just turning the tap instead of pumping by hand.

The first step was to ask them how they felt about such a system and telling them that the costs of such an installation would have to be reimbursed. They all agreed that this would be a good system for them but they did not like the fact that they would have to pay back the costs.

Since in this village there are 3 water wells with hand pumps, the question was on which well to install the water tank? In this type of discussion, if the leader speaks, the other people do not dare to contradict him. According to him, the water well with the most demand is the closest to his house. To make sure that we have some proper data we have asked them to monitor the quantity of water taken at each of the 3 wells over a period of one month.

The next question is how will they get the cash to pay back the loan? It makes sense that it comes from the  “sale” of the water. But if the water is free at the other wells, women will tend to go there. We have asked them to come back to us with a solution. Any solution we propose will be difficult to implement.

Along the road

Tamarisk

and its fruit: tamarinds

 

“Chinese painting” bird

Citations of the week from Buddha

He who is master of himself is greater than he who is master of the world.

There is nothing constant except change.

Take care,

Hervé

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