Happy Spring! Even if that doesn’t mean sunshine and blooms everywhere, it is always a season of change. These past few months have seen a whirlwind of projects at BamCashea, and the community of Bamboi is ramping up for even more work as the rains begin to fall heavily this time of year.
In February, the Jebuni Cashew partners started collecting cashew fruit along with the harvest of nuts on their 20 acre mature cashew orchard, and are running out of bottles to store the novel cashew liquor being stilled on a daily basis. Sales locally are going well, and very soon we will be experimenting with barrel aging and various native tree infusions to find a product that is worth being sold more widely in Ghana and in the US one day.
In March, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in congress with BamCashea and the Burn Design Lab visited the Norntoma Cooperative and constructed two industrial sized fuel efficient cookstoves. This project took a lot of planning from all organizations involved, and especially from the Norntoma Cooperative, who processed over 40 pounds of termite mound and seined loads of wood ash to provide the right materials for conducive construction. Consultants from the university will be returning on Friday this week to train the women on proper methods and maintenance of the stoves, using real shea nuts that have begun to be collected locally. The project has been incredibly successful so far, and the photos below show some of the key points of preparation and construction.
As we slide into April, Bamboi usually begins to see heavy rains falling on parklands and shea trees begin to flower and fruit with the season’s shea nuts. This year we are beginning a multi-year effort to reforest 250 acres of shea parklands surrounding Bamboi, and we are dancing for good rains to continue throughout our planting season. Thanks to a recent partnership with an awesome company making plastic-free laundry sheets - Earth Breeze- BamCashea is taking big steps to enhance the ecological resilience of the savannah region around Bamboi, as well as ensure the sustainability of the local shea populations to support the ever-growing shea industry and therefore, women’s livelihoods.
We are incredibly grateful for all of the donations and grants we have received to date to accomplish the work we have done so far, and are incredibly proud to be working with partners around the world to address sustainability in agricultural entrepreneurial development in Ghana. Thank you especially to an anonymous donor who has given us a chunk of change to pay our staff in Ghana, and ensure that BamCashea remains a viable organization into the future.
In the coming months, E.D. Tabatha will be heading back to Ghana to conduct monitoring of project work since the start of 2019, as well as coordinate our first major planting effort in Bamboi. Keep in touch with us for videos from the replanting effort, and be sure to check out our partners in (good) crime below:
Burn Design Lab
Take care and thank you again for supporting our mission!