The Grass (2011)
Our project is about creating awareness in our rural community of the unknown benefits of the Moringa plant growing everywhere and the use of waste materials to locally produce a bio-gas digester, gas cooker, a seed planter/fertilizer distributor and a multi-purpose recycle dustbin; they can use or sell. Thereby creating wealth and health from waste.
The project is about making a change in our rural community using herbs/plants and we decided to use the plant Moringa because of its benefits and it grows everywhere in the community. And finding out that the waste materials of the Moringa plant produces the best bio-gas after composing, we decided to recycle waste materials and locally make a machine that can produce bio-gas using waste materials of the Moringa plant, farm equipments (seed planter/fertilizer distributor) and other machines that we can produce from waste materials.
Our aim is in creating awareness of the importance of the plant Moringa and the high benefits attached to the plant. How the plant can be grown and processed for consumption. How the plant can be grown from either the seeds or through stem propagation. And hoping that before the next 2 years; everyone in the community will have complete knowledge of the Moringa plant, 60% will have either a tree or shrub of Moringa growing near their houses. Also, we hope to make farmers and communities aware of the fact that they can locally produce their own farm tools from waste materials with very little cost as against importing equipments from foreign countries. With these projects we hope to diminish hunger and increase health and wealth starting from our own community.
Our school is situated in a semi-rural community in which some of them are predominantly farmers; but hunger and joblessness is the main factor affecting families around. With that in mind we decided to see how we can alleviate the problem by using what we can get around us to get what we don’t have. We went on the net and got information about the plant Moringa and the many benefits attached to it. Surprising enough we found out that Moringa grows wild and around our community and the community is not even aware of the unlimited benefits of this plant. We researched to find how the plant can be processed and the dos and donts attached to the plants. But was happy to find out that the plant does not really have a dont. Some months after the project took off, we researched and found out that the not edible parts of the Moringa plant has been proven to provide one of the best bio-gas there is. It was then that we decided to add another project to the Moringa plant project. We agreed to design an equipment that we can use to produce gas from plants. In order to achieve that we also agreed to use waste materials from dump sites.We researched to find what kind of machine we can construct using waste materials. We ended up making a Bio-Gas Digester and a Gas cooker, and also a farm tool that plants seeds and distributes fertilizer on a farm and finally a multi-purpose dustbin. The school authorities provided us with the little fund we needed to buy the waste materials from the locals and also the technology laboratory was provided for us to do our construction.
Project action plan:
We first had to prepare the moringa before going to the community. We cut the Moringa leaves either growing in bush paths or along abandoned lands and picked some dry seeds for planting. We washed and dried the leaves before grinding into powder form for consumption. The mature stems, were kept for planting and the young stems kept for the bio-gas production. We grew the seeds into seedlings, the Moringa leaves were dried and blended into powder form. We sealed them up in cellophane and little containers to keep them dry. Then we made hand bills and decided to go to other schools and the community to give a talk on the benefits of the Moringa plant. When the project of making tools out of waste materials came up. We went to the locals to obtain watse material from dump sites for us; in which we paid for the materials at little cost.From the design we researched on, we were able to construct a Bio-Gas Digester and a Gas cooker. The successful outcome of the Bio-Gas Digester and Cooker increased in us the zeal to recycle more waste materials and we started to research and came up with designing a farm tool which can dig holes in ridges, put in seeds, cover the holes and also distribute fertilizer. We started it and finally achieved our goal and finally after the farm tool we used more waste materials to construct a multi=purpose waste dustbin which is being used in the school. Though we are the main pioneers of these projects, but along the way it has to involve some other members of the school and even other schools and the community.
Project results so far:
After talks and interaction we had with students, other schools and the community, we got a lot of invitation for talks. We could not even keep up with the demand for Moringa products and the 120 seedlings we prepared and the matured stems for planting were sold out the first week. To date we keep planting seedlings for sale and not able to keep up with the demand, we encourage individual planting.The farm tools and equipments from waste materials was successful. The Bio-Gas Digester produced gas and was used on the cooker to produce fire for experiments in our school. Though, because of the demand for Moringa plant we were not able to keep up providing Moringa stems for the digester to compose and produce gas, so we used animal dung. The seed planter/fertilizer distributor have been used on the school farm during planting season and other organizations have come to the school to hire the machine during their planting season and also to spread fertilizer on ridges. The multi-purpose dustbin is presently being used in my school. It is designed in a way that plastics/nylon materials, perishable, papers, metals wates are separetely in one structure.
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