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Our Approach

Ghanzi Permaculture Association demonstrates and teaches the people of the greater Ghanzi area how to grow much of their food as well as trees for shade and soil stability in their own yard or in public spaces.  We take an experimental approach, trying different techniques in our own yard and applying those that work best in the community.  We work with the most vulnerable in our region, including the San people in the outlying settlements and in Ghanzi Township.  We also work with families who are malnourished, and those caring for people living with HIV and for orphans and vulnerable chidlren.

Our Story

Ghanzi Permaculture Association, aka Permaculture Trust of Botswana, is a registered commuity trust formed in 1989 by a group of people dedicated to the idea that economic empowerment and environmental sustainability go hand in hand.  The concept of Permaculture describes a practical design use of the land, which grows from an understanding of the cycles and flows of nature. Within this approach, peoples own knowledge is taken as the basis for their development.

Permaculture works at a grass- root level with disadvantaged communities including Remote Area Dweller Settlements, where the San people have been resettled. In most areas, Permaculture Associations have been formed and the members take an active role in determine and carrying out projects.

Permaculture is the only NGO in the area that is providing these types of services and has shown some success in improving basic needs such as housing and nutrition.

Description of the Ghanzi Permaculture program

The Permaculture program includes activities in several settlements (East Hanahai, West Hanahai, New Xanagas, Grootlagte, Chokwane, New xade and Qabo).  Permaculture has also worked with farm workers and schools in the past. Garden activities included backyard gardens for individual households as well as Permaculture Association group gardens. Production was for both home consumption to improve nutrition as well as income generation and employment creation.

With the same aim, Permaculture poultry projects included layers and indigenous Tswana chickens. As well, the income generation was being explored through the use of natural resources such as the collection and processing of Morama beans. Domestication and sustainable harvesting of wild melons will provide an abundant supply feed for backyard Tswana chickens. The seeds can also be processed into cooking oil, body lotions and eardrops.

Permaculture has constructed 150 houses, 80 toilets, 120 gardens in the settlements between 2002-2006. Four cooperative store rooms were constructed in East Hanahai, West Hanahai, Grootlaagte and New Xanagas. Permaculture promoted its extension services through association in five communities and through a family approach in others. Permaculture's approach was highly participatory as the members decide which activities Permaculture should assist them with. Family ownership of projects was encouraged to ensure sustainability. Permaculture also engaged Extension Workers in the targeted settlements for easy monitoring of projects.

Meet the Team

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Regan McCook

Founder & CEO

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Eric Teagan

Vice President

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Timothy Barrett

CFO

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