Can you remember traveling back in Covid-19 days? Probably not. And who could blame you? The virus pretty much ruined any travel plan back then. Even we at Thriving Green had to accept that any face-to-face exchanges with our Kenyan partners would be digital only for the time being. Over the years, we had learned how important regular on-site meetings are for effective collaboration. But suddenly we were forced to settle for virtual connections. In the coming months, pandemic-related travel restrictions, along with the rising cost of fertilizer, should put our fight against malnutrition to the test.
We are all the more pleased that we have been able to visit partners at various locations in recent months! In January we had already visited our new partner Viride in Morocco, as you can read in the last blog entry. And now in May we finally went to Kenya again! Our board member Marie set out and visited several of our Kenyan partners at once. Her first meeting was with Eddy, the farm manager of our spirulina farm in Mombasa. Eddy has struggled in recent months with rising fertilizer prices due to the pandemic and subsequent Ukraine war. He felt compelled to shut down the breeding operation and go back to his home in Kisumu. At the joint meeting with him, Marie was able to discuss the existing problems and possible solutions.
This is where IIMSAM, the next stop on Marie’s itinerary, could help. IIMSAM is an organization in Kenya that has been in existence since 2006 and has since initiated a wide variety of social projects. IIMSAM owns two spirulina tanks near Kisumu, which are currently not operated. Together with IIMSAM we plan to bring their spirulina cultivation back to life and to improve the cultivation and harvesting process with our know-how. Marie took the opportunity to inspect the facility more closely and to exchange ideas with the people on site about the upcoming steps. Preparations for recommissioning are underway.
The last partner Marie visited on her Kenya tour was Zachuas, our contact in Ebukanga. The local climatic conditions are not suitable for the cultivation of spirulina. Therefore, we had the idea to convert our facility into a split fish and algae farm. With our support, Zachuas and his team have already had a well drilled on site to ensure sufficient water access. Currently, we are analyzing water samples and want to select suitable fish and algae species based on them. We receive additional help from our partner ProTerra and Viride in Morocco, who have a lot of experience in the field of fish farming in Africa. We plan to fill the pools in Ebukanga with life again soon! In addition, he and his team are already successfully raising bees, growing vegetables and keeping chickens and cows to ensure food on site. We also support these projects.
So there is a lot to do, but we are looking forward to all the exciting projects with our motivated partners and are glad to finally be back on site!
If you want to support us – we are always looking for helping hands or a donation to realize our projects together with you and our local partners.