- Worked with villagers to design and implement a major permaculture project on 8 acres of land donated to GRA by the Kinesi Village Council to grow food for 35 families caring for orphans. This plot grows hundreds of trees for food, lumber and habitat, staple foods like corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sorghum, cassava and peanuts and a variety of vegetables
- Built a windmill that pumps water from Lake Victoria half a mile away, and hand dug a pond and several large swales to harvest water in the rainy season
- Researched and prepared our 2.5 acre lake-side plot for the introduction of government provided non-sting bees by planting flowers favored by the bees
- Sent five GRA-Tz permaculture staff members from Musoma and Kinesi to a Permaculture Design Course in Kenya to increase their skills and become less dependent on outside experts, as we work towards sustainability and ownership of the project by the Tanzanians
- Helped 11 Kinesi Village families design and implement permaculture gardens on their own plots to achieve long-term food self-sufficiency
- In collaboration with Belgian NGO, WeForest, GRA received funding to plant 77,000 trees (mostly from the international consulting firm Deloitte as a carbon offset project)
- Hired two trainers and four permanent workers to operate the tree nursery at the lake-side permaculture plot in Kinesi Village.
- Planted a broad variety of trees in the nursery including fruit, medicinal, timber, ornamental, fencing and nitrogen fixing trees
- Trained individuals, schools and community groups to plant and care for trees. Free trees were given to those individuals and groups that prepared holes to plant the trees. Trainers supervise the maintenance of these trees and are reporting a 96% survival rate.
- Distributed 58,500 trees so far in 2011. An additional 18,500 remain in the nursery.
Alternative Cooking Technologies (ACT)
- Due to the instability of weather patterns this year, it’s been difficult to offer as many solar cooking workshops as we had planned. Several of the scheduled workshops had to be canceled at the last minute due to rain. We still provided 15 workshops in 2011 with over 600 participants
- Explored the introduction of new sustainable cooking methods like “rocket” stoves built with clay and banana stalks, and jatropha oil that is produced from the seeds of the jatropha plant which grows abundantly in Tanzania
- Sent nine GRA-Tz staff members from Musoma and Kinesi to Mwanza to attend a jatropha training where they learned how to extract oil to make soap and provide fuel for cooking and lamps. The use of toxic kerosene to illuminate homes at night is very common in Tanzania. Jatropha oil is a clean, cheap and sustainable alternative.
- Bought two jatropha oil extraction machines for use in Musoma and Kinesi Village
- Provided thousands of free jatropha seeds to families in Kinesi Village for cultivation as living fences and to provide seeds for oil extraction
- Completed more than 30 successful herbal workshops to spread the knowledge of herbal remedies to more than 1,000 participants
- Gave away thousands of free samples of herbal remedies – including Artemisia capsules (to treat malaria), chili ointment (for joints) and eucalyptus powder (for teeth)
- Renovated the herbal department facility to meet legal requirements for preparing herbal products
- Obtained approval and registration with the Tanzanian Food and Drug Administration for three of our main herbal products – neem drops (to prevent and treat malaria), neem cream (for fungal infections) and a “superfood” preparation consisting of dried moringa oleifera leaves and amaranth – two local products considered to be the “multi-vitamins of the developing world”
- Trained over 200 workshop participants to treat malaria and other tropical diseases using Master Mineral Supplement (MMS) with outstanding success
Water Resource Development
- Completed ten successful community wells – all equipped with BluePump hand pumps
- Received a $154,000 grant from the Freedom from Hunger Council of Ireland for a new PRD 650 drilling rig mounted on a new heavy duty Ashok-Leyland 4×4, a powerful new Atlas Copco air compressor and sophisticated 3d geophysics software. The rig is being fabricated now in India, with delivery expected by March.
- Developed effective and efficient electrical resistivity protocols for locating primary water resources using the new software and the electrical resistivity equipment we acquired last year. These techniques have proven so successful, we were asked to share them with other water initiatives in Africa as part of the “New Generation Watershed Management in Africa” project sponsored jointly by Gorta and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Support for Orphans
- Completed the 9th consecutive year of the Tumaini kwa Watoto program that provides 75 orphans living with foster families in the Musoma area food, healthcare, school supplies, school fees for secondary school students, clothes and weekly activities at the GRA-Tz office compound.
- Continued support for 75 families caring for orphans in Kinesi Village. The program provides food, clothes, health care, school fees, mattresses, etc. to these children. About 35 of the families are involved in producing their own organic food at the two GRA-Tz permaculture plots. Twenty five families have developed their own permaculture plots with training and subsidies from GRA over the last two years.
- Hosted the 8th annual Serengeti Safari in August for 10 kids from the Tumaini kwa Watoto program in Musoma and 8 from the Kinesi Village orphans project. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these kids to experience Tanzania’s amazing natural heritage first hand.