CAMAAY participated in a two-day capacity building workshop organized by WATER FOR CAMEROON in Ndop on how to use bucket kits for small gardens; composting; the importance of the moringa tree as an organic manure; and how to use bio-sand filters.
Bucket kits for gardening
The bucket kit is a simple drip irrigation system designed for vegetable gardens in periods where there is less rain. The bucket kit has all the parts to make an irrigation system using an ordinary bucket. The kit may be adapted for 2, 4 or 6 row garden. This irrigation system works by gravity. When a 20 litres (5 gallon) bucket of water is raised one meter (3.3 feet) above the ground (measured from the bucket) sufficient pressure is generated to force the water from the bucket through the irrigation tap on the ground. Tubes connect through the bottom of the bucket to the irrigation tap. Water drips rom the tap into the soil and provide enough moisture for a vegetable garden to feed a family of three or four.
Demonstrations on how to set up the kit were done by participants in a group of four. At the end of the training, we purchased 8 of these kits which we shall use in our gardens.Composting
Composting is an essential element of organic, sustainable farming, so we were eager to learn more about it.
We learned that hot composting can:
- improve water retention,
- balance Ph,
- improve soil structure,
- kill most weed seeds,
- building healthy populations of beneficial soil micro-organisms,
- and provide timed release of nutrients.
Participants also received lessons on the different types of composting materials, building a compost pile, pile size, location of the pile, using compost and troubleshooting
Participants contructed a compost pile under the supervision of the facilitator.
Moringa oleifera, a multi-purpose tree
A brief presentation was made on moringa oleifera, a multi-purpose tree by one of the facilitators. Discussions focused on what is moringa oleifera, how it grows, and its many uses, including water purification, organic manure, animal fodder,and human nutrition. Grown plants and seeds were presented to participants that they were encouraged to grow for local useand for commercial purposes.
A free sample of moringa powder and a gift card explaining its benefits and uses is available for a $50 donation.
The workshop ended with a presentation on the bio-sand filter (BSF) as an effective means of water purification.
The BSF works the same way as traditional slow sand filters, which have been used for centuries. The filter housing is simply a concrete container, with layers of sand and gravel inside. A bio layer at the top part of the filter is where the bad water poured into the filter is cleaned.
The BSF will remove more than 99.9% of parasites and over 97% of E.coli bacteria and nearly all suspended sediments, eliminating most disease-causing pathogens. One filter will treat enough water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene purposes for a typical family. The cost in NW Cameroon is approximately $30.
We left grateful to the workshop organizers for the great information received and eager to use it in our school gardens.