Amsha Africa Foundation (AAF) is working with grassroots community movements in 6 project locations in rural Kenya to educate and help build simple and sustainable aquaponic systems from locally available materials.
Aquaponics is an inventive form of closed-system agriculture that utilizes water based gardening and fish cultivation. These aquaponics systems will provide a viable option for Kenyans seeking to grow their own vegetables and ensure adequate nutrient consumption. The closed circuit aquaponics system produces both vegetables and protein and reduces dependencies on other variables such as land, water, and fertilizers.
The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world goes hungry. If we are to feed the world sustainably, now and in the future, we need to grow food closer to where it will be consumed in an efficient and sustainable way. If we don't, vital ecosystems worldwide will have to be replaced with farmland needed to feed our growing population.
Many residents in the project locations AAF staff visited do not have adequate supply of food and water and live in areas that can no longer support farming due to depleted or eroded soils. Many of the residents that were interviewed suffer from hunger because available food is expensive or inadequate. Residents also travel great distances to look for food and water. The food they eat is not nutritious and whatever they can buy from the local market is contaminated because it is grown in polluted water, mostly sewer water.
It is our desire to use such affordable and sustainable systems to replenish depleted or eroded soils in places that can no longer support farming and reclaim the losses of bad management. There is no soil in the system itself with only gravel as the growth media with nutrients provided by the fish. The system is also scalable and can be expanded to meet demands for more fish and vegetables.
With fresh produce and fish from our proposed “aquaponics” project, young children who spend most of their time looking and working for food will return to school, women will begin small businesses selling the fresh produce, and men will no longer be too sick to work. Food supply will become more reliable. Health will return to the local community and children will grow up to be productive members of their community. The cycle of poverty will be broken and lives will change with the completion of this project.
Project time-frame: Once we secure the funds from start to finish will be 4 months for all the project sites. At 4 months, the success of the project will be noted by how well the fish and plants have grown and adapted to the system.
We will invite all parties that were involved in the project, the donors, the media, etc. during the harvesting of the fish from any one of the project sites to make sure that the community and funders know that sustainable agriculture is possible and that local communities can play a major role in ensuring their own food security without the need of conventional farming.