Conclusion of Call to Nature Permaculture Project – Ghana
This project, to increase the water storage capacity and build an extensive water distribution system, has been completed under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Michael McGaskey and Call to Nature Permaculture Founder and Director Solomon Amuzu.
A summary of Michael’s report is as follows:
In the initial project, the Call to Nature organization wanted excavate a dam to store more water for the dry season, and to install a water pump and related piping. The objective was to keep the children from having to spend 3 hours carrying water to their large school garden.
In the Kunkunuru community, this was accomplished through the highly motivated team in charge of the school garden. Although the rainy season was starting, the work was completed, without regard to the weather. The pipes have now been installed along with the water pump.
The existing dam measuring 20 × 30 feet has been opened up to 50 × 70 feet, to a depth of 2 meters. Along the banks of the dam are vetiver grass, planted to keep the dam in shape, strong and firm, as well as to introduce water plants into the dam to help reduce evaporation and to preserve aquatic life.
The main irrigation piping system was built by connecting PVC pipe and fittings using glue. The pipes were positioned along the edges of the beds running through the middle of the land. Attached to the pipes are the upward-spraying tubes, running between each 5-foot × 70-foot planting bed. Attached to the pipes are stop corks to regulate and to direct the showering of the beds during the process. The system is powered by a Koshin water pump, with a 3-inch-diameter inlet. As soon as the pump is on, a pressure is built first in the main pipes and then distributed through the spray tubes.
The irrigation system has caused a great positive impact on the management of the facility and the community at large. Formerly, it took many students about 3 to 4 hours to water the field twice a day; now this same size of land is watered just in 5 to 10 minutes. This has given time for the students to engage in other activities, and has resulted in an expansion of the garden size.
The improvements provide additional benefit to nearby farmers, as the additional water resource will enable them to boost productivity.
We are grateful for Michael and Solomon for carrying out this important project.