What started as a Greening Sustainable Commons project by Three Crowns junior secondary school in the rural area of Lady Frere, within the during jurisdiction Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) in the Eastern Cape is now braking frontiers in the Environment Management Sector all over the world. The school-to-community empowerment project, spear headed by CHDM’s environmental health introduces alternative energy designs, such as a greenhouse / shade-house nursery made from recycled plastic bottles, solar cooker, two different models of solar water heater, hot-box, bio-gas digester, eco-circles, vermiculture and permaculture, and a zeer fridge. According to CHDM Acting Director Health and Community Services, Francois Nel “These designs are simple, effective and easy to replicate and built from any readily available material. The concept is now ready to be replicated into a village setup in all local municipalities within our jurisdiction”. The Department of Basic Education is set to use this project as a pilot project for all schools in the district to be able to visit the school in order to learn about energy efficiency and be able to replicate similar projects within their own schools. Educators at Three Crowns have also developed lesson plans and units of work which detail construction of the models, sustainability of the energy supply, and environmental benefits for using the models.
- To give communities home based economies to assist in alleviating poverty.
- The generation of energy which is an alternative to electricity supplied on fossil energy.
- To build sustainable communities this can be self reliant.
- To give the people in the rural sector a chance to learn through doing and sharing.
The schools have become vehicles for change in their communities. The project comes out of the naturally occurring technologies within the community.
The following Technologies were Implemented:
Hot Water Snake
This item is composed of an ordinary black pipe filled with water. This is then exposed to the sun making it warm and thereby hot up the inside water.
This is composed of used two litre plastic bottles. This keeps the house warm during the cold day and cool during the hot day.
The nursery takes place inside the green house.
The overall purpose of the item is to process waste into gas which is used in the kitchen for cooking.
In which anaerobic effluent from the digester is introduced. Carbon dioxide is available to support growth in pond.
High rate Algal Pond
Provides a method for oxidisation of effluent. In 4 days in this pond oxygen is produced. Algae is produced which is to be harvested in the Algal Settling Pond. Algae is rich in nutrients which is used the vegetable garden
- This is a method of irrigation.
- The method reduces the rate of evaporation of water during the irrigation period.
- The system takes water to the roots of the plants.
- This is an effective way of irrigation and it preserves water.
Vermiculture uses commercial worms. These worms produce a liquid which serves as a fertiliser which can be used in your garden or flower bed.
It is half moon shaped panel which cooks by using sun rays. This method is completely a clean method and can be used instead of electricity.
Wind Energy Generator
Through the use of, energy can be generated. This method generates electricity. Fortunately the participating schools are such situated that wind is never a problem. The system provides environmentally friendly energy source.
Chris Hani District Municipality concerns itself with many projects for sustainable rural development, like the Shiloh Irrigation Scheme. The Shiloh Irrigation Scheme benefits the Shiloh Dairy Project and is situated in Whittlesea in the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM), within the jurisdiction of Lukhanji Local Municipality. The scheme is located on the R67 road to Fort Beaufort, about one kilometre from Whittlesea. It is also 40 km from Queenstown and 102km from Fort Beaufort and straddles the tar road. The total area of the scheme is 455ha. There are approximately 237 beneficiaries in this dairy project.
This project revitalisation process undertaken jointly by CHDM and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development started in 2006. The business plan for Shiloh Dairy Project was approved by the beneficiaries and the go-ahead was given for the joint venture (shared milking project) between Amadlelo Agri (commercial dairy farmers) and the Mayime Shiloh Farmers Co-operative in the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Chris Hani District Municipality have undertaken to provide some of the funding needed for the dairy infrastructure at the Shiloh Irrigation Scheme.
Farm Vision (Pty) Ltd was appointed by Chris Hani District Municipality as project manager to ensure that the implementation of the infrastructure is done correctly and in a short space of time. The total cost for the infrastructural development was estimated at R26.43-million (excluding Vat) when the project was started. About R12.17-million of R17.1-million capital expenditure has been used so far.
Dairy parlour infrastructure installed:
- Afikim herd management system complete
- Water purification system complete Irrigation infrastructure installed:
- New irrigation system complete and work has been commissioned
Electricity supply by Eskom installed:
- Moving of the line and 200 KVA transformer (SHR 12) complete
- The 80ha food plots and pivots (42ha)
- Preparations for the planting of annual pasture crops (milking to commence in February 2011)
Fencing, roads and drinking water for animals erected:
- Boundary fence is complete
- Electric fencing erected
- Cement and plastic drinking troughs have been delivered ready for installation
- Cattle walkways are complete
- Calf hutches delivered