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DUAYEE VOCATIONAL SCHOOL PRELIMINARY RESEARCH

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DUAYEE VOCATIONAL SCHOOL PRELIMINARY RESEARCH TOWARDS BUILDING A MODEL SUSTAINABLE VILLAGE | Sustainable Village Model Preliminary Research | Ecosa Institute | Summer 2010

Model Sustainable Village

Project Description

Ecosa has been asked by Peter Gbelia, the Executive Director of the Empowerment Society, to create a master plan for a sustainable intervention in the village of Duayee in Liberia, Africa. This plan is intended to develop a model approach to sustaining the culture, environment, and economy of the Liberian people.

The village we will be working with is Duayee located near the Yah river. The goal is to create Local Economic Development (LED) by designing a system where more food is produced (improved agro-techniques, seeds, irrigation, fertilizers, fish farm, swamp rice), the surplus can be sold at market creating economic growth, and revenue invested back into human capital and community infrastructure.

This is a challenging project in as much as it is based in a non-western culture and needs to respond to needs that are very different to US expectations. Prior to the start of this design, each participant was required to read the report and proposal provided by the Empowerment Project and the Millennium Development Report. The goal of this project was to research alternative development patterns, materials, social and economic systems to create an integrated design that includes all elements of sustainability from materials to permaculture, energy to food supplies. ECOSA is proposing a vocational school as the best way to illustrate, educate about, and build a truly sustainable village. Through the vocational school, Duayee will be able to educate its population and create a skilled work force by allowing every project in the village to be a learning experience that will expand upon the village's knowledge and skill sets. Download the final Duayee Vocational School Proposal, and download the preliminary Research Presentation on Liberia.

For more info check out the project at the ECOSA Institute here: http://www.ecosainstitute.org/projects/model-sustainable-village.html

or copy & paste this URL to catch a glimpse of the final project:
http://www.ecosainstitute.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=71&Itemid=

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DUAYEE VOCATIONAL SCHOOL PRELIMINARY RESEARCH

  1. 1. Duayee, Liberia Sustainable Village Project Ecosa Summer 2010
  2. 2. Overview •A Look at Duayee oHistory oCultural info--Needs and wants •Ecology oclimate, rainfall, soil types •Economics oFood oMicro-financing oEcotourism oEnergy •Society oBuilt environment oEducation oPublic Health • Conclusion
  3. 3. Charles Taylor
  4. 4. Gbehyi chiefdom •Mano/Gio ethnic •Mande Fu language •Christian/ indigenous religions •3,200 people in Duayee-- headquarters •weaving, basket-making, pottery, historically did metalwork
  5. 5. UN Millenium Development Goals 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 2. Achieve universal primary education 3. Promote gender equality and empower women 4. Reduce child mortality 5. Improve maternal health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 7. Ensure environmental sustainability 8. Develop a global partnership for development
  6. 6. Liberian Ecology
  7. 7. Climate Tropical--hot and humid (lies within the tropic of cancer) •In winter: dry with hot days and cool to cold at night •Harmattan winds: dust-laden winds from the Sahara blow from December to March •In Summer: wet, cloudy with frequent heavy showers Nimba County: avg temp 70-80 degrees F Nimba County: avg precip 50-95 inches/yr
  8. 8. Ecosystem Three main ecosystems in Liberia •The Coastal belt oMangrove swamps oshallow lagoons oTidal creeks •Plateaus oBroadleaf evergreen Forests oGrasslands •Mountainous area oBroadleaf evergreen and deciduous forests oGrasslands Nimba County: Brush, grassland, cultivated crops and treecrops AND Broadleaf deciduous and evergreen forest
  9. 9. Topography and Watershed The Yah River is a tributary to St. John River
  10. 10. Food Systems Research and Precedents
  11. 11. Current Food Situation in Liberia: •high levels of food insecurity and child malnutrition •Upland soils degraded •Subsistence farmers unable to produce enough rice - import •Staple crops: Rice and cassava •Small number of live stock
  12. 12. Current Agricultural Practices in Liberia: •Subsistence farming •Deforestation – has increased by 17% since the end of the 1990’s. •Slash and Burn cultivation has increased •Agribusiness
  13. 13. Crop Production and Exports Main Staple Crops: • Cassava (313,000 tons) •Rice (210,000 tons) •Bananas (90,000 tons) •Plantains (35,000 tons) •Yam and sweet potatoes • Cash crops: •Cocoa •Sugar cane •Coffee (3,000 tons) •Rubber (35,000 tons) •Palm Oil (42,000 tons)
  14. 14. Current Initiatives: •intercrop jatropha •introduce bee keeping, goat nursery, sheep, and "can rat" nursery •aquaponics •design landscape for edible plants and trees •Co-op of farmers contained within the SVI network •construct dry grain storage and food drying systems •Sustainable Village Service Center
  15. 15. Suggestions for Improvement of Food System • •Develop alternatives to slash and burn such as Food Forest Gardening and other organic methods that help build soil. •Implement Integrated Pest Management •Develop local economy where profits are going to the growers, not foreign corporations •Incorporate goats and chickens into food system • •Train farmers in seed saving and provide access to tools
  16. 16. Precedent: Growers' Cooperative CONACADO: •Democratically run cooperative organization in the Dominican Republic •Helps small-scale cocoa producers. •Founded in 1988 •Links 10,001 small scale producers through 8 regional departments - called Bloques (blocks) that serve 182 base associations. Mission: •Improve the income and living conditions of cocoa producers and their families •Supporting a sustainable approach to property management •Strengthening business and organizational practices •Strengthening community development.
  17. 17. Precedent: Nyumbani Village, Kenya • Eco-village: 1000 orphans/100 elders • Half-acre family "shamba" gardens • 50-acre intercropping community farm • animal husbandry
  18. 18. From Green to Evergreen Problem: There is mass famine in 3rd world nations. How to produce enough food to feed the hungry? 1940s-1960s-- Green Revolution: Increased productivity WITHOUT regard to ecological/social harm pesticides, irrigation, synthetic fertilizer, and MONOCULTURE of improved-performance seed 1960s- Present day--Evergreen Revolution: Increased productivity WITH regard to ecological/social harm restoration of ecosystems through water harvesting, composting, sustainable land practices ie. agroforesty, and POLYCULTURE of genetically-modified seed Is technology the answer to Liberia's food problem? If so, to what degree?
  19. 19. Economics Partnerships, Micro-finance, Tourism and Energy Infrastructure
  20. 20. Global Partnerships •Mittel and Firestone •Distributed over 40,000 tools and 20 metric tons of rice seed to 333,000 farmers in 2006. •Employment increased.
  21. 21. Microfinance •Micro Loans •Community Savings Accounts
  22. 22. Village Earth: Consortium for Sustainable-Village Based Development •“Appropriate Technology” Library and Sourcebook
  23. 23. Las Gaviotas, Colombia •30 year old sustainable village •Small scale renewable technology •Reforested area despite acidic soils. •Consistent Peace
  24. 24. Costa Rica – Sustainable Tourism•Certification for Sustainable Tourism •Ecotourism oRainforest Alliance oRainforest tours •Volunteerism oAttracting hands that can help and boost economy while there.
  25. 25. Tropical Sustainable Buildings Concepts, Materials, and Precedents
  26. 26. Current Housing “There is a need to develop housing estates” - Nimba County Development Agenda The 1998–2000 National Reconstuction Program placed housing issues as a priority for
  27. 27. "This is a library we were supposed to build, but didn't"
  28. 28. Current Housing Infrastructure Issues as Defined by the Nimba County Development Agenda for 2008-2010
  29. 29. Tropical Sustainable Building Design Concepts
  30. 30. Ventilation
  31. 31. Shading
  32. 32. Orientation
  33. 33. Insulation: •Lightweight and low heat- storing materials (i.e. wood, bamboo, grass, palm •Keep attic heat out – using vents Roofs: •Currently have a lot of metal roofs – good for rain catchment. •Thatched roofs – readily available material, breathes, good for humid climates.
  34. 34. Natural Lighting
  35. 35. Vegetation
  36. 36. Precedent: The Soe Ker Tie House in Thailand •Non-Profit group TYIN focuses on developing humanitarian architecture •Buildings for an Orphanage •Worked closely with locals •Used local bamboo •Used traditional Thai building techniques •Each hut collects rainwater, has natural ventilation, and safely handles
  37. 37. Precedent: Rainwater Harvesting in the Philippines •Rainwater harvesting initiated in 1989 •About 500 rainwater storage tanks were constructed in the Capiz Province •Locals trained during process "Rainwater harvesting could end much of Africa’s water shortage" - UN Report
  38. 38. Dwellings Building Materials
  39. 39. The area is rich with building materials, but the village is depleted. The rain forest is the closest and best source for traditional building materials.
  40. 40. Using locally grown, sustainable building materials will help to prevent rain forest loss.
  41. 41. Bamboo •Bamboo is a sustainable building product. •In the time it takes to grow and harvest commonly farmed timber, bamboo can be harvested seventeen times. •Bamboo has twice the compressive strength of concrete and the same tension strength as steel •Bamboo planting included in a larger integrated system could act as a living machine in water purification and also serve as an effective wind break
  42. 42. Clay •Clay is abundant in the region. •Clay has been used for centuries as a building material •Clay construction is easy •Clay can have many uses and aplications
  43. 43. Earth Bags •Earth Bag construction uses on site materials. •Earth bag building is easy. •Earth bag constructions is extremely strong and durable.
  44. 44. Constraints •Educated workers •Skilled workers. •Funding for small business.
  45. 45. Education
  46. 46. Current Educational Systems Tufeia FoundationTeach Self Defense, provide scholarships, afterschool programs, community college, internet service, community peace clubs, trauma interventions and young women specific advancement programsDuayee SchoolYouth Development Committee built schoolVery little support, no books or official curriculum
  47. 47. Culture Around Education •Challenges facing education oK-12 costs about $75 USD per year oTeachers poorly paid and trained oSex for Grades oWest African Examination Board criteria rarely met for graduation oLack of Materials
  48. 48. Reviving Curiosity •Liberian based books through community publishing •African Books Collective •Oral Traditions •Not basing education on tests and grades •Reintegrating Nature into curriculum •Getting the community involved in the education process
  49. 49. Rainforest as a Classroom •Field Labs maintain an area for researchers to study the rainforest and learn from its ecology. •Students get opportunity to learn from Rainforest.
  50. 50. Center for Appropriate Rural Technology (CART) Community-driven project that functions as a life skills center in the heart of Sicambeni Village, South Africa SKILLS TAUGHT: •Raised aerated beds •Brick machine •Dams •Biodigester •Thatching •Indoor gardens •Sustainable Houses
  51. 51. Opportunities to Build Capital •Training the Natural Resource Management Team •Teacher Training •Medical Training
  52. 52. Public Health
  53. 53. Current Personal Hygene
  54. 54. Health Care •Existing Clinic oServes surrounding villages as well
  55. 55. Improving Sanitation Solar Water Distiller Grey Water Systems
  56. 56. Waste
  57. 57. The magority of the waste in the area consists of human and animal waste, bio mass, and houshold rubbish.
  58. 58. Bio mass and human and animal waste contain methane that can be harvested as a form of natural gass.
  59. 59. Methane digesters are an efficient and effective method of harvesting methane from waste and bio mass. After methane has been harvested, the remaining material can be composted and used to ammend soil.
  60. 60. With apropriate facilities, bio mass can also be burned to create electricity and can be processed into bio fuels.
  61. 61. Other types of waste can be recycled or reused in alternative building products and crafts.
  62. 62. Giving consideration to the delicate history of conflict in the region, sustainable practices in all areas of the community have great potential to create a resilience that will expand the pride of village members and the peace and stability between surrounding villages.

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