Here is the second edition of our newsletter, Synergy, with news from the organization, photos, and useful information about plants.
Please read the inaugural edition of our bimonthly newsletter, Synergy, here:
The year 2016 has just finished. We present our best wishes to all our members, friends and supporters. It has been a year of development and success on many levels, especially in the training of members and others. Indeed, members have benefited from sessions on medicinal plants, on taxation, on biodiversity and sustainable development, agroforestry, and initiation into the compost liquid.
A new point of training opened in Yeumbeul for training of the women of the GIECOMICO organization.
At the Sergeant Malamine Camara High School of Parcelles Assainies, the student "Club Environment" continues to grow stonger with lots of new and very dynamic members.
A general assembly is a meeting of all the association's members. Its purpose is to inform them of the achievements during the year and to collect recomendations and suggestions to overcome real-life constraints. This way, all members have the same level of information.
The general assembly of 2016 was held on Saturday, January 07, 2017 as the date of the last week of November could not be met becauseof various events. The activity report showed the variety and richness of the training activities. However, it should be noted that contacts have been made but have not been followed. These areas should be followed up to achieve a greater development of the Oasis Grow Biointensive Association (OGB) and itsFankanta agroecology Center of Keur Massar.
New developments were acknowledged. Two events have been created on the Facebook page of the Association. These events saw the participation of people who are not members of the Association.
Much has happened with the OGB (Oasis Grow Biointensive) association since the last year. The amount of work and the availability of trainers has been the reason fo delay in the present update. Over the course of the last half of 2015, in addition to day to day activities we can note the following events.
- August 2015: We received visits from interested parties and parents: it was an opportunity to demonstrate the gro biointensive method and its advantages. With the rainy season, we needed to weed half of the Fankanta center. After this, manioc cuttings were planted.
Ryan put us in contact with Chuck Henry, an American engineer who taught us a rapid composting method for fish scraps. We also visited with the director of the Keur Massar Clinic to look into organizaing a free dental consultation in Keur Massar.
-September 2015: September was a series of routine activities: weeding, pruning the moringa and coconut trees, and preparing seedling flats of tomato, peppers, lettuce, etcetera.
-October 2015: In addition to routine work, 22 beds were double dug in the fourth section of the center (Fiikam). An old Commisioner General from the Scouts of Benin visited the center. Having been a market gardener with years of experience, he provided useful advice.
-November/December 2015: Our partners in Boy and Girl Scouts from Nantes, France visited the Fankanta Center in Keur Massar.
Routine activities continued such as bed preparation, clearning and weeding, watering, preparing seedlings as well as the sale of lettuce and the harvest of manioc.
Saturday Demeber 26th the first general assembly of the association occured in Keur Massar.
The raining season this year was not long but it rained a lot, giving hope to farmers. Lots of grass were visible everywhere. Activities went on normally during that period, apart from the root nematode attack that destroyed sweet pepper plants.
Using the first compost pile (chicken) made by Ryan within the frame of the Senegalese compost campaign. We got, out of it more than two tons of cured compost. From the second compost pile(fish), we got 138 buckets of 15kg each which makes 2,070.00 kg.
Under a moringa tree, Fatou and Lamine roasting maize from the garden that was planted in July.
Fatou harvested bananas from a banana tree planted in 2014
Friends from Nantes, France visiting Fankanta. Two of them have a big garden themselves.
Father and son (Benin nationals) watering after having harvested lemon grass and the plant called “doctor” for it is said that it heals every kind of disease.
Two beds of basil
Sadibou and Romain (visitor) transplanting Moroccan mint
Fatou making a compost pile
Fatou and Sadibou double digging
Fatou and Sadibou preparing flats
A row of Passion Flower
An acacia (Faidherbia albida) above maize
Root nematode attack at Fankanta in September
This summer the Association Oasis Grow Biointensive started a project with a local women's organization in Parcelles Assianies. Members received hands on training in preparing beds for planting, transplanting seedlings, and caring for the young plants. The first crop the group planted was lettuce and they hope to try mint next. Below you can see Fatou (in the black head scarf) instructing the group.
The compost program is continuing to receive organic waste from the local market in Keur Massar. There are now 16 windrows throughout the Fankanta demonstration garden. The photo below shows two windrows next to a vetiver windbreak.
This summer has seen a healthy amount of rain and the crops at Fankanta have done well. Here Fatou is harvesting radish and below tomatoes. Look at the gallery section of our website to see other crops from this summer.
Fankanta's Beehives are now set up after being constructed during a previous work party. Souleymane, a florist and one of the founding members of the Association Oasis Grow Biointensive, was on hand to plant pollinator plants for the bees.
Fankanta also received a visit from Chuck Henry of the University of Washington. Chuck was in Senegal for work with urine diverting dry toilets. Urine diverting dry toilets are a vitally important solution to both sanitation problems and poor soil health. If you would like to learn more about them visit Critical Practices.
March 08: Lamine was invited to a community radio station called “Manooré FM” on the occasion of the women’s international day. The theme was about women’s role in
agriculture and national development.
March 15th: Lamine, Fatou and the national executive of the Boy and Girls Scouts
went to the same radio station for a meeting with the staff of the radio. The purpose
was about the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding to have an radio show
about sustainable agriculture using the GB agricultural method. And, also, a program
on education, especially on education of girls. The agreement is accepted but not
signed yet. Now, we are looking for sponsors to support financially this radio
March 20th to 22nd: 20 Boy and girl scouts stayed at Fankanta Centre for a scout
training program and for supporting the routine work at the Centre. Fatou was with
them while, during the same period, Lamine was in Burkina Faso for a management
training workshop to train Trainers. One of the participants, from Mali, is seriously
interested in the GB technique. He is looking for an opportunity to find resources to
invite Lamine to go in his country to run a training session. This will be followed up.
April 5th: Abdoulaye Ndiaye and Demba Fall, all members of the Association Oasis
Grow Biointensive, spent half a day at Fankanta, as well as Fatoumata Thiam (a member of the Environment Club of the High School Sergent Malamine Camara) to weed and transplant 3 beds of lettuce. A boy Scout in the name of Samba Sow was there with them, doing the same tasks.
April 6th: A boy scout in the name of Matar Niane visited the Fankanta Centre and helped
watering and preparing 4 beds in section one. He is considering starting the GB method in the primary school where he is teaching, very far from Dakar (705 km).
April 11th: A get together was organized at Fankanta. Were invited all the staff members of the NGO, the Boy Scouts Association credit union. In attendance, we had 43 adults and 7 children, making a toal of 50 persons. It was great for people did several small tasks: watering, weeding, flatting, making 5 cement hives, cooking. We had fun with the boy participants.
May 2nd: We started a training session with a group of women in the immediate suburbs of
Dakar. More than 30 women of all ages were involved.
Note: High School Sergent Malamine Camara : weekly activities continue on a
regular basis with interested members of the Environment Club of the school.
Other events of note from early Spring:
Fankanta's first three month intern, Daouda Bodian, completed his training in sustainable Grow Biointensive farming. He studied intensive planting, composting, medicinal plants, seed propagation and learned the day to day tasks required to run a farm.
Below is Daouda watering a young Moringa sapling.
Fankanta also received Amath Ndour as a one week intern. Here Daouda is explaining to Amath how to consruct a compost pile.
The composting program continues as usual at Fankanta. Here Daoda and Fatou turn a windrow to aerate the pile.
In February, the Environmental Club of the Sergent Malamine Camara high school organized a festival for the environment with the help of Oasis Grow Biointensive. The day started with a fire lighting competition. Each group chose a leaf with instructions for an activity written on it: list all the trees in the high school courtyard, list all the medicinal plants in the high school courtyard, take a sample of the types of litter on the ground, etc. Afterwards students engaged in different projects and exercises in the school garden.
Below, students participate in the fire lighting competition.
Here the students of the Sergent Malamine Camara high school tend to their mint bed which had been planted during an earlier work day. Behind them are their tomatoes. The tomatoes ended up being a great success with students and teachers saying they were far superior to anything they had ever found in the markets.
Here students are transplanting mint from cuttings.
Oasis Grow Biointensive participated in a national workshop for environmental restoration and the establishment of a network of community organizations which protect the enironment. Fatou was elected auditor of the network. OGB became a founding member of this network.
Participation in this workshop now allows OGB to access the world of national environmental organizations.
The 2nd annual general assembly of OGB took place at the Fankanta headquarters in Keur Massar. There were 20 participants including 4 women. One of the members taught a course for members on ecosystems. Another gave a presentation on taxation in regards to the environment. Both are professors at the University of Dakar. In addition to questions about membership dues, there were discussions about the influence of OGB and how to create a program of activities which would develop a solid connection with the community.
The third annual memorial for Abib Ndiaye took place at Keur Daouda Sarr. Abib was a member of the organization, "Community Garden". This organization is a partner of our association, OASIS GROW BIOINTENSIVE. We were invited to give a presentation on the theme: "An alternative agriculture for the development of community health". We participated with Ndèye Fatou Sène Diawara and Ryan Batjiaka. We had also invited the S.O.S. Environment branch from Keur Massar which was represented by its president M. Amsata Ndir and Mamadou Ba who is the secretary of this branch. Our leader Abdoulaye Sène was also invited to give a presentation on the participation of inidividual citizens in local development. The Professor Racine Senghor, Djiby Diakhaté as well as Ryan also gave important talks.
We had a debriefing with Ryan who helped us during his stay with the work at the Fankanta Center. He taught us to compost with fish, chicken and vegetable wastes. He also helped us to launch a fundraising campaign for the long term viability of our compost production. This was the day of the Muslim new year, known as "Ashura". Our guest and trainer, Ryan, was in Grand Yoff where he saw how the holiday was celebrated. It was an unforgettable cultural experience for him.
November 8th and 9th
Over the course of the weekend we organized a "Couples Camp" for members of Oasis Grow Biointensive. 14 people participated. It was a weekend rich with learning as the elder, Abdoulaye Sène, led a discussion on values. Mr. Mamadou Ngom, husband of our secretary general, gave a presentation on the tax code. Five member of the Environmental Club of the Sergent Malamine Camara High School came to the Fankanta Center and helped to divide and plant lemon grass. During Sunday the 9th of November, this same weekend, we had a visit from 3 Scout leaders, one of whome is an artist currently living in Europe.
The fundraising campaign was a great success. We would like to thank everyone who gave to our campaign, including Kym Park, Elaine Dunlap and Star Apple Edible Gardens. Thank you for your contributions! With these funds our training programs and community compost project are becoming a reality.
A conference in the Grand Dakar was held during the 4th edition of the district community fair (with Lamine Diawara and Tonton Idrissa Diène).
The theme was the environment and community health. A religious guide and researcher/practitioner of traditional medicine was present. OGB met with teachers of urban micro-gardening and plan on meeting with them further. The traditional medicine researcher was also interested in helping OGB and there is a potential for a partnership.
The preseident of the Association Oasis Grow Biointensive presented at a public conference during the 7th African Social Forum at the International Center for Foreign Commerce. The theme was "Role, place and responsibilities of youth groups in education, training, and the engagement of youth." Two projects were used as examples in this talk: the International Center for Trades Skills for Boy and Girl Scouts as well as the Fankanta Agro Ecology Center.
Idrissa Diène, a member of our association returned from California, USA. He had been at Ecology Action for a 6 month training internship in Biointensive agriculture.
Several members of our association met with members of SOS Environmennt group in Keur Massar. The goal of the meeting was to look at possible partnerships and collobaroations. The next day, September 28th, members of the group came to the Fankanta Agroecology center for an inital training in biointensive agriculture. As of October, these members continue to come to the center for training.