Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking. - Wangari Maathai
This proposal seeks to provide £4,800 in capital from our village pot to build two self-sustaining Moringa processing plants at Maanzoni and Ngangani primary schools in Kenya. The plants will use existing composting facilities at the schools to provide a circular source of production and, therefore, income for the school and parents employed to manage the processing facilities.
A resilient plant
The Moringa is referred to as the "never die" plant in Africa. It thrives no matter how challenging the environment and soils are. Moringa is known to produce fruit even during drought conditions, and it rebuilds quickly after being cut. They thrive in areas with access to modern irrigation methods and compost fertilisers. Growing quickly, they gain as much as 10 feet per year in peak conditions, and they are naturally resistant to many types of insects. These characteristics, combined with robust nutritional/medicinal attributes, make the Moringa a highly economical and low-maintenance crop helping to fight disease, starvation, and malnutrition. In addition, the leaves can be harvested frequently, providing a steady flow of sustenance. It starts with compost.
Our partner Kenya Connect runs an innovative composting toilet programme where they install compost toilets in schools across rural Kenya. Compost toilets are far more hygienic, safer and sustainable than the typically used pit latrine.
Besides the benefits mentioned above, a great advantage of using compost toilets is the compost can then be processed and used to plant food crops.
Turning compost into commerce
Kenya connect is currently aiming to launch a Moringa Tree programme to further support primary schools in their network with an opportunity to develop sustainable income sources.
Two of Kenya Connect's 62 partner schools, Maanzoni and Ngangani primary schools, have been identified as suitable schools to pilot a Moringa Tree program because they have composting toilets and access to water.
The funds will be used to fence plots for Moringa farming, construct drying sheds, provide training on Moringa processing, purchase gardening equipment and build drip irrigation systems at the schools.
In addition to growing and processing the Moringa Trees at the two schools, additional trees will be planted at Kenya Connect's Learning Center as a demonstration project for schools visiting the centre. It will give students from their 60 other partner schools and members of the community an opportunity to learn about the Moringa project
Once the plants are fully operational, they will allow large numbers of students to participate in watering and monitoring the trees. As the trees mature, the schools will hire parents to work with the students to harvest the crop. They will also process the leaves in preparation for sale.
A company in Nairobi is willing to buy the Moringa that the schools produce at a fair price, which will be a tremendous economic vehicle for the schools and their students.
This proposal seeks to provide the £4,800 in capital necessary to build the two processing plants at Maanzoni and Ngangani primary schools.