In this report, we focus our effort in promoting vegetable gardening using organic fertilizer found around the house, eg. kitchen waste, grasses, animal waste, human urine. Urine is considered sterile and is a good nitrogen fertilizer for the plants. We encouraged the mothers to do vegetable gardening as a hobby and to fill their vacant times. In so doing they are productive and gardening is also a form of relaxation and leisure for them. We provided the seeds and vegetable seedlings while they do the making of the organic fertilizer by piling a compost. There are mothers who excel in this and we ask them to be our "barefoot technicians" teaching those around them. In this report, we are able to reach out to 34 mothers. This initiative is crucial in the sense that most poor Filipinos lack micro-nutrients and that these can be remedied by having small vegetable gardens.
This month we are starting to promote ecological sanitation in very poor elementary schools here in Mindanao, the Philippines. This is so because we found out that there are schools were sanitation is very poor and pupils defecate just anywhere in the school-ground. This creates a situation where their health conditions is compromised with the spread of diseases and worm infestation especially Ascaris which is difficult to eradicate.
We model our dry or ecosan sanitation solution in areas where there is no toilet facilities because of lack of water and thus the pour-plush water toilet is not effective anymore. If we succeed in this one, we will cover more schools with our initiative. Then we will integrate vegetable gardening activities in the schools we cover. Our sanitation solution is very cheap and very appropriate as well as culturally accepted in our areas.
We are continuing our support for Typhoon Sendong survivors by building more portable ecosan toilets and starting a vegetable gardening and tree planting initiative. The portable ecosan toilets are built in scattered communities with no sanitation system while the vegetable gardening initiative is designed to provide the survivors with continuous food supply while they are beginning to start their agricultural and food production activities. The tree planting is for upland areas in both cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and designed to prevent flash flooding.
We have added 15 more portable ecosan toilets as of last report and started vegetable gardening with 300 families. We have raised also 4,500 seedlings of different fruit and timber trees in our nursery and this will be ready for planting during the rainy months starting June.
Our project is going on full-blast with the implementation of vegetable gardening by 35 beneficiaries. The gardening activities uses organic fertilizer formulation coming from our dry toilets. The mixing of the fertilizer is done in such a way that pathogens are eliminated, mainly by adding lactic acid bacteria and vermi-composting. The vegetables grown are eggplants, tomatoes, radish, squash, bitter gourd and pulses. A garden of about 100 square meters will enable a poor family to have nutritious vegetables whole year round. We provided the seeds that the beneficiaries plant in the gardens.
This end of year we are planning to build 25 more ecosan toilets to add up to 115 toilets that we have built for this year. The beneficiaries are truly grateful with our support and we can observe in them happiness in being able to have access to appropriate sanitation system that improves their human dignity. We also noticed that diarrhea caused by water-borne parasites has been greatly reduced.
Our project is ground-breaking and this year we are proud to say that we won an award from Israel for our ground-breaking initiative.
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