[permaculture] Fwd: Permaculture TV - One month in Uganda - Extreme Permaculture with Steve Cran
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Mon Feb 15 19:42:19 EST 2010
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From: Nicholas Roberts <nicholas at themediasociety.org>
Date: Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 11:35 AM
Subject: Fwd: Permaculture TV - One month in Uganda - Extreme Permaculture
with Steve Cran
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Cooperative <permaculturecoop at gmail.com>
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From: Permaculture.TV free video cooperative <permaculturecoop at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 5:04 AM
Subject: Permaculture TV - One month in Uganda - Extreme Permaculture with
To: nicholas at themediasociety.org
Permaculture TV - One month in Uganda - Extreme Permaculture with Steve
One month in Uganda - Extreme Permaculture with Steve
Posted: 15 Feb 2010 02:44 AM PST
*I’ve passed the one month test here in Uganda. I’m getting used to it and
learning where to find the things I need and how to ask for those things. *
*My body is adapting too! *I wake one morning with a *gut pain like an alien
is about to tear out my stomach*. Oh God look out. After half an hour on the
toilet I make my way to HQ. In the hot sun with a pack of hyenas in my guts,
Uganda isn’t much fun any more. I get to HQ and get my driver to help me
find a guava tree.
[image: Steve dreaming of goat]
We drive to a house he knows and sure enough there’s a *guava tree next to a
mango tree*. I go to the guava tree and all of a sudden all these white
birds fly out just missing me. They’re not birds but cream colored bats!
Weird! I get a hand full of the young leaves and take them back to HQ and
boil them into a dark tea. Within a 10 minutes I begin to feel better. Guava
leaves are the best medicine for dysentery. You can also mix avocado leaves
in the tea for severe cases.
*A week later I get it again*. More guava leaves. This time I check out the
water supply in the hotel/shack. The bore pump is near the septic tank. Its
the dry season and the bore is low. The septic must be running back into the
bore hole. Oh dear! *Other people are getting crook. More guava leaves!*
I’m walking out of the compound thinking about the *plan I’m putting
together to wean Karamoja off aid food* and onto their own sustainable
agriculture. Two little girls are in the shade near the gate. One is about
11 years old and the other is about 6. Its hard to tell because they are
both malnourished. The bigger one is kneeling and the little one is
struggling to help her get a 20 liter full jerry can onto her head. I grab
the jerry with one hand and lift as she stands.
She points to her sister and says “and”. I see the little girl has a 10
liter container and I put it on her head. *They thank me in their soft
little voices and trudge off down the dusty track*. I see this scene
repeated all over Karamoja every day. The women are enslaved from an early
age humping water. If we could get water to their homes the same energy
could be used for food production.
In my plan I put small diesel pumps in villages and build many 5000 lt brick
tanks from locally made fired bricks. The tanks only go where there is a
community garden. The pump fills the tanks each day. The people learn water
conservation because they only get 5000 lt. No garden, no tank. If you stop
gardening, you get no water to the tank.
[image: Bundles of sticks]
Its harsh but it works. *When people realize gardening is easier than
carrying water, the food supply will increase*. The community runs and
maintains the pumps. I have to come up with projects that will employ people
on “food for work” programs. I’ve included windmill irrigation schemes and
many other projects the villages can choose from. I’m also building test
models to trial the strategies in the field and photograph them for the
manual I’m writing.
*Refrigeration is also on the cards*. An old lady is making 2 sizes of pots
for me to make pot in pot refrigerators. One pot goes inside the other with
sand filling the gap between them. water is poured into the sand and damp
potato sack acts as a lid. Inside the pot we have 15 degrees celsius. Now we
can sell greens at the markets. greens last 3 hours in the heat. Now they
get 3 days. We increase the food security from a different angle.
*It’s Valentines day. I get invited to a “goat roast”*. First I have to
survey a village where the chief wants to do organic agriculture big time.
We follow the chief in his ute. He says its only 8km. 40 kms later we arrive
at group of mud huts with pointy grass roofs. There’s a group of people
waiting in the shade of a shea tree. I ask him why there are no windows in
the huts. Is it because of wild animals? He laughs and pretends he is
shooting a gun. “No its for wild people, the Kjong”, he says.
I get introduced to the group. they get excited and the women make the
leeleelee noise. The oldest elder is 85. *They are such gentle old people*.
They shake my hand but wont let it go. I’m hungry. No breakfast as usual
here and its 1 pm. Im fantasising about roasted goat. We walk off into the
scrub with the chief and a few others. I explain a few ways we can use this
land. We walk miles and finally get back to the village.
*I’m dreaming of goat meat*. Wait, they want to show me a dam site. Ok I
say, thinking of goat meat. We drive with 10 villagers hanging off the back
of the pick -up truck. Yep, lovely dam site, goat time. Wait there is
another over the ridge. GRRRR! We walk over the ridge. There’s a brand new
bore capped off on the valley floor. The chief explains the government has
put it in to supply a new school. A big tank is being built on the far hill.
Great, irrigation potential. Used wisely, this water could transform this
scrub into orchards. Its goat time! Lets go I tell the driver. Wave good bye
to all the village, saliva dribbling from my mouth as I think of goat meat.
Its 2 pm.
*The driver is speeding.* I told him if I didn’t get my goat meat I’m eating
off one of his legs. He believes me. We get to town in record time. Im
ambushed by some of my staff who have heard about the goat roast. The
pick-up is full of people again. We get to the house where its all
happening. I see chunks of raw meat. What? Its not even cooked yet.
[image: stick fence]
We wait and wait. *I drink a coke to kill the hunger. *I have to give the
small group who are organizing the event some cash. We just doubled the
number of goat munchers. I am asked to get some beer. No worries. Finally at
6 pm we get the goat. It arrives on a platter. Im just about to grab a chunk
when I’m asked to say grace. Oh! Eh?… “Great Spirit, thanks for this yummy
*They all stare for a second and then begin to chuckle*. The normal prayers
are much more complicated. I finally get a chunk of meat and gobble it down.
A dog wanders over, I growl and it gets the message and runs off. Never try
and take food off a hungry Steve, it’s dangerous. Because of all the extra
people we get an entree’s worth of meat each. I go home hungry. It’s Ok
though. Plenty of people in this land go to bed hungry. Im doing my best to
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