Close Collaborations

I’ve been struck by the high quality of collaboration demonstrated in the regular UK-Nigeria meetings, so thought I’d say a few words about this in this week’s blog.

I’m talking not just about the obvious collaboration of these weekly online meetings between the UK and Nigerian teams - but also the more subtle and equally important collaboration between Pam and her network.

Marcus Update and Sharing Resources

A quick update before too much of the week shoots past. I did meet Marcus Simmons at Tuttle on Friday, and later we went to City University to meet Ron Dennis. It was a continuation of the converstation Ron, Femi Longe and I had last week, regarding Nigeria, recyling plastics and other shared interests.

Marcus and I also spent a lot of time transferring his photos and videos to my hard drive, finding the most relevant ones to share, making breif notes, and trying not to be drawn into detail until all that was done. We discovered that we both planned to be in Central London today, so we agreed to meet again to continue our catch-up. There is a lot to cover - so, for starters, Marcus agreed that I could publish the email he sent during his trip.

Stoves and Juicers: protecting the environment and livelihoods

Most meals in rural Nigeria are cooked over open wood fires. This is simple and familiar. Traditionally fuel has been cheap and fairly easy to find.

However demand for firewood has increased in line with population growth. As trees are cut down the environment suffers from deforestation, soil loss and eventual desertification. There is also increasing awareness of the damage to health caused by wood smoke, especially when cooking takes place indoors.

Farming at Fantsuam

THIS week's UK/Nigeria meeting provided another fascinating and informative hour, covering subjects as diverse as the training of local Nigerian instructors, crayfish and sms credit!

And all this despite an intermittent problem with time delay, which served as a gentle reminder that connectivity is still a considerable problem for most rural communities.
What particularly caught my attention was Fantsuam's ability to identify and respond to their communities' local needs. They are concerned, for instance, that their women farmers - comprising of around 1,500 of their microfinance clients - have difficulty affording fertiliser. This of course affects their productivity and ability to repay loans.

To combat this Fantsuam has put in order for a delivery of organic fertiliser to serve these women, which is due to arrive within a fortnight. They will then monitor the situation to see if this helps alleviate the problem. Should it do so, the order will be repeated!

I was also interested to learn of research by the new VSO at Fantsuam, which is focusing on two main local agricultural markets - namely catfish and soya bean. We will look forward to hearing the results in due course.

Dreams will come true - Cicely in Nigeria

Dreams will Come True

Written by Cicely, a VSO volunteer with Fansuam Foundation
December 2008.

Last week on 3 December 2008 all the staff of Fantsuam Foundation visited the site of a dream – Attachab. Fantsuam’s founder and chairman John Dada’s vision is to create a self-contained eco-farm supporting the needs of the surrounding community and contributing to the economic development of the region.



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