Witchcraft, Microfinance, Sulabh Toilets, Kafanchan Bandwidth Consortium

These were the topics John updated us on in the last week of January in emails and at our UK-Nigeria Dadamac meeting

Emails from John - social protection/witch-craft and other updates


Sulabh Toilets

Kafanchan Bandwidth Consortium

Goats and running water

1 - Emails from John

We lost that case of Social protection. The accused was mysteriously found dead in his room. (This relates to last week's witch-craft accusation - UK-Nigeria meeting: witchcraft, sick child, plastic recycling, solar projects.)

We may be making some headway with the Kaf Bandwidth Consortium which FF (Fantsuam Foundation) is leading.

We are yet to get building permission for the new toilets for Kafanchan market

(NB from Pamela: The remaining  comments on Microfinance, Sulabh Toilets, Kafanchan Bandwidth Consortium, Goats and Running Water all came from John during our skype chat - hence some typos, which I have left uncorrected)

2 - Microfinance

This morning, Comfort is winding up the training of two young men from Ondo State, who have been sent to learn our own version of microfinance. They were sent to us last year by a senator who wishes to start a microfinance program for market women in Ondo State.
They are paying a fee for the training, and the training is taking place in our training hub, the KRC (Knowledge Resource Centre)

We would like to see this training aspect grow this year so that it becomes an income stream for Fantsuam. We prepared a schedule of 10 weeks for the two trainees, and that will come to an end next week. They will be having a 'graduation' session on Monday when they will present the workplan they have developed for implementation in their station

For now it is only this microfinance training that is taking place in the KRC

3 - Sulabh Toilets

From next week I will be giving a Training of Trainers training on Sulabh Toilets which we will be constructing at the kafanchan market. The sulabh technology is borrowed from India. It is a departure from the septic tank system.

The septic tank system is also expensive and requires 12-14 litre of water for flushing. There is shortage of drinking water in almost all urban areas; hence water has to be conserved. Septic tank has other problems like periodic cleaning and disposal of sludge. Inadequate effluent disposal is a source of foul smell, mosquito breeding and health hazards. Sulabh flush compost toilets do not need vent pipes as gases are dispersed into the soil.

Sulabh already has approval of WHO and UNICEF.

Key advantages of Sulabh flush composting toilets are :-

Hygienically and technically appropriate, and socio-culturally acceptable.

Affordable and easy to construct with locally available materials.

Design and specifications can be modified to suit householder's needs and affordability.

Eliminates mosquito, insect and fly breeding.

Can be constructed in different physical, geological and hydrogeological conditions.

Our Linus will be supervising the construction using our compressed bricks. Because it is a Pay as You Use System, we hope we can attract private sector partnership for future funding and expansion. Two staff whom we laid off due to funding constraints have been with me this morning to take on the job as supervisors of the toilets.

They are affordable and we have received a grant from Kitchen Tables Trust London to start the first 3 toilets. Our budget for a set of 3 toilets is UKP 5,000. The Trust has approved UKP 5,000 but it is yet to arrive. I think some internal banking delays. I am surprised the money has not arrived, we were told to expect it by 23rd January. I have sent a reminder to the trust three days ago.

This will be the first time Sulabh technology is coming to Nigeria

India already has 1.2Million sulabhs in households

There is version that we can place in Attachab: the small household version for 10 users

I have met the Market Chief on Tuesday and he is excited about the project.

The Government had promised a toilet since 2 years now, but not delivered on it yet.

We hope we will also trap biogas to be used for security lighting or domestic cooking from these toilets.

These technologies are already available, so it is for us to adapt them to Kafanchan

The ‘pay & use’ concept in public toilets will reduce considerably, the expenditure in the maintenance of the toilet. It will generate income and create some employment. The 'pay and you use' income will pay for the staff who will maintain the toilets.

It is only a one-time investment by the the Kitchen Table Trust towards construction. May be this an area of social investment Fast Tractor can consider it is like we are incubating this business and when it matures we will become a training centre for Sulabh

4 - Kafanchan Bandwidth Consortium.

The next big thing in FF this week is the Kafanchan Bandwidth Consortium. We now have 8 institutions signed up, we have gone round to take their coordinates, we have a tentative consting for each organization

This morning Gabriel is going round the institutions to do an eqyuipment audit to determin what basic equipments they have, what additional they will need and then we can share the costs

The fantsuam communication tower marks us out as the entry point of the oprtic fibre in Kafanchan. From here we can broadcast to partnering institutions

This means setting up our site as a Base Station to serve the partner institutions.. The consortium has held three good meeting so far, and each time, I can see that I am preaching to the choir. The need for internet access is now at an all time high. A far cry from when we first started.

As the Base Station or hub, ZittNet will be more financially stable as we will make some earning from serving the consortium.

We have the Kaduna State Univ, three Colleges of Health, 2 seminaries, and 2 NGOs so far. We hope to attract more members. It is a game of numbers, the more the membership, the cheaper the unit cost. In addition, students are increasingly required to undertake researches on the net and many of them have to make do with their mobile phones to browse the net

We are linking up with a national body for provision of internet access to tertiary institutions, the ICT Forum, they are the providers so that gives us some peace of mind. FF runs a tertiary program, the Cisco one. And the ICT Forum also accepts other not-for-profits
We are a local Cisco Academy under the regional Cisco Academy at Univ of Jos.

We have asked for discount given our rural location etc, but it does not seem to impress them. They expect us to pay the millions of naira fees for hardware updates as the universities. I think the problem is not getting a listening ear within the Cisco empire. I believe we have a unique situation they should be proud of.

5 - Goats and running water

It has also been a good week.

One of Comfort's goats delivered 3 kids.

We got water in the taps at home for the 1st time ion 5 years, although it only lasted for 7 hours.

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