We returned home from Kenya a few days ago after spending time at Riziki with visits to several children’s homes, other projects and a lovely time of relaxation at the coast.
Julius continues to be totally committed to the children in his care. One of our girls complained of a painful arm so Julius took her to hospital where she was admitted with cellulitis. He insisted on visiting her every day she was there which meant a round trip of sixty miles each time.
At Riziki we saw the newly refurbished cottage which is now suitable to house the older boys during school holidays or for simple visitor accomodation at other times. A tiled floor has been installed and the walls have been plastered and painted. Further furniture will be added ready for use in the next school holidays.
Liz has supervised improvements in the shamba (garden) with well prepared vegetable beds, deeply dug and manured ready for planting. This should improve the water retention in the soil and feed the crops. In spite of the poor rainfall in recent years we have managed to harvest enough maize and beans to fill our silos with sufficient maize to feed the children for at least two years. This year we intend to grow more cattle feed and less maize. The children really enjoyed two days of planting beans (first thing in the morning and late afternoon while it was cooler) in anticipation of the rain, which duly arrived. We pray it will continue to rain. In the last newsletter I mentioned that we grew sorghum for the first time. This is mixed with dried cassava and sweet potatoes and then ground into flour. The resulting porridge has proved to be very popular and nutritious. A good crop of tomatoes in the green- house was just ripening when we left. It appears to be the best crop ever. Liz plans to try sun-drying some of our surplus tomatoes and possibly bananas as a means of storing them. She also reckons that this year’s drought is even worse than last year. If the weather pattern continues it will be only possible to get one harvest each year instead of two.
Without prolonged rains Riziki has a major water problem. It has proved impossible to install a new water pipe from the nearest mains water supply; drilling down 250 metres also failed to find water and our large underground water tanks (9 000 m³ and 20 000 m³) can only store water when it rains! Guttering on all buildings collects whatever rain falls on them. During times of drought we have to buy water, delivered by road tankers, costing Ksh 36 000 (about £250) each month. (Our household bill here is £21 per month!) Most of the water we use each month is at present thrown away into the cesspit after being used for laundry, personal washing and cooking. Following a suggestion from the man who empties the cesspit, using a vehicle he calls 'honey sucker', we plan to build a simple filtration system and divert all the waste water (except that which flushes the toilets) through it. We can then reuse the water many times in the laundry and also in the greenhouse. We estimate that we can re-use between 50% and 80% of the water we buy! In addition, the cesspit will only need to be emptied every few years instead of every three months. This innovation will be phase one of a four phase development plan to try to make Riziki self-sufficient.
As funds become available we hope to move on to further projects in three more phases.
In phase two a new cowshed will be built behind the existing shed, parallel to the greenhouse, next to the water recycling plant. It will be a simple structure, big enough for six or eight cows but able to be extended easily if and when needed. Provision for calves will be included.
Phase three:- After removal of the old cowshed a new barn will be built adjacent to the existing barn which contains the maize and bean storage silos. The new barn will be for storing cattle feed which we plan to grow in larger quantity. Cattle food gets very expensive in times of drought.
Phase four:- When the new cowshed and the water treatment plant are in use we should have sufficient water and manure to service a biogas plant. This should produce ample gas for our cooking and water heating needs and eliminate the need to buy firewood.
We have planned these structures together as the position of each one affects the others. It is our vision to see Riziki become self-sufficient while we are still able to be active. It is a challenge to keep up with changing weather patterns.
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. Your interest in Riziki is much appreciated. Without your help, Riziki could not exist. Ian & Diana Hogley
For donations from within UK:-
The best way to make a donation to Riziki is through The Aenon Trust. This a UK charity which facilitates giving to projects including several children's homes in Kenya. Donations by UK taxpayers may be Gift Aided through The Aenon Trust. All such giftings are transferred to the projects in full by the Trust, with no deductions
Cheques should be made payable to The Aenon Trust and sent to:-
Mr A.E.Nicholls MBE FRGS, 137 Belvedere Road, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA7 4PA , with a note saying the gift is for Riziki. Allan's email is email@example.com
Direct payments can be made to:- NATWEST BANK, Bexleyheath, Sort Code 51-70-14, for the credit of The Aenon Trust, Account No 36591483. If using this method an email should be sent to Allan to let him know the gift is for Riziki.
If preferred, gifts may be sent through us at Wayfields, Briar Court, HOLMFIRTH, HD9 2JJ.
Donations from outside UK may be sent to either Mr Nicholls or ourselves at the above addresses.
Regular donations can be made by Standing Orders. I can supply Gift Aid declaration forms or Standing Order forms, for regular donations, if desired.
Gaggia Caffe Shop, based in Elland has a feature on Riziki on their website. This can be accessed on www.gaggiacaffe.tv. Our own Riziki website is accessed on www.riziki.org.uk.
(Ian & Diana Hogley, 'Wayfields', Br iar Court, HOLMFIRTH, HD92JJ, UK. Tel 01484 680634. firstname.lastname@example.org.)