The last month has seen the agriculture team and office manager engage in an intense round of refresher training. This consisted of three rounds of group training, each of three days duration. There were a total of 258 participants which constitute 80% of all current savings group members involved in vegetable production. Training messages focused on soil fertility and the making of compost and liquid manure to ensure sustainability of vegetable production. Other topics covered included the making and use of organic pesticides and business management and marketing.
The photo here shows a joyful Loise Bangu of Morjita group having just completed her training. Her spirit and motivation comes from her achievements as a savings group member which has enabled her to start her own pancake business, buy two goats for her family and to pay school fees for her son.
Juxtaposed to Loise is the image behind her of the current environmental reality existing in and around Imvepi refugee camp after five years of the refugees staying there. The few misshapen trees denote branch lopping for firewood. The image also shows the whole denuded area behind that would have been covered with similar-sized trees. Together with climate change, increasingly dry weather and poor soils, survival here in the camp is tough and precarious.
Refugees are given food aid but are left to fend for themselves to search and collect firewood for cooking and shelter materials such as poles from the surrounding natural resources. These have now become increasingly scarce and difficult to source.
CRESS together with our implementing partner, the Diocese of Liwolo, will seek to address this increasingly urgent issue through tree planting and forestry training, during the coming months and years.
Many thanks for reading.