AWARD Shortlists 2014
Incredible Edible: Community Horticulture – United Kingdom
In Todmorden, kindness grew as people connected through food. Food was shared fairly, and random vandalism decreased. Hundreds of townspeople who had begun by helping themselves advanced towards self-sufficiency. Local food sales rose 46%. Two social enterprises started: Incredible Food Hub to raise fish, fruit and vegetables at a school; and Incredible Edible Growing Ltd. to provide horticulture training. This wave has spread to some 33 towns across the country: “We have learned to believe in each other and have faith in the power of small actions”
Katosi Women Development Trust (KWDT): Rainwater Harvesting – Uganda
Drought in rain-fed agricultural areas hits women hard. Fetching water from distant, often contaminated sources reduces productive time and compromises their health. KWDT trained women to build water tanks, harvest rainwater, and grow kitchen gardens. By 2012, they had constructed tanks in 204 households, with more under way. Women could now grow kitchen gardens and rear more animals. Milk production provided a litre of milk daily per household and a surplus for cash income. Cow dung also provided organic manure for the gardens.
ZABU: Sustainable Agriculture – Uganda
Using sustainable agricultural practices, a local farmer used one sector’s output to help another, thereby creating a virtuous self-sustaining agricultural cycle. Farm manure mulched the fields; maize production rose from 600 kg per acre to 3,500 kg. In a two acre demonstration garden, sandy land regained fertility in three years. Striga weeds, which impede cereal production, became dormant. The manure also enabled biogas production, which in turn provided energy for cooking and lighting.
Single Mothers’ Agriculture Project: Community Empowerment – Guyana
The Christian Development Organisation (CDO) empowered residents to improve Block 22, Wismar Linden: a squatter community of cardboard and plastic shelters on condemned land. Many single mothers were forced to do odd jobs or sex work. Their malnourished children were frequently absent from school. CDO carried out a needs assessment with community women. Based on the results, they planted plantains and bananas, using simple techniques of quick replication. The bananas and suckers generated food and cash income. Community activity expanded to include small scale processing and cash crops like peppers and pakchoi. Residents cleaned the community creek, allowing water to flow freely and reducing mosquitoes. Home ownership and quality rose. Children attended school more frequently. The community built a church. The government installed potable water and mail service.
Un Tech para mi país (UTPMP): Water purification – Chile
Residents of San José barrio, Santiago, Chile spent heavily to boil their contaminated water. Children often missed school because of illness. UTPMP introduced the Plasma Water Sanitation System developed by the Advanced Innovation Center of Chile. The system pipes clean water from a central purification plant. This high-tech approach is energy-efficient and low maintenance, requiring no expensive filter changes. Armed forces volunteers worked with residents and researchers to instal the system in the neighbourhood.
Based on this success, a “can-do” spirit took hold in the community.