Tchatchou April 2012


Post: Tchatchou

Date(s) of project: March-May 2012

Brief description of Project:

The Environmental Club at CEG Tchatchou was founded late last spring and we were able to restart this school year back in November. The club has on average 20 students with some weeks swelling up to 40. The PCV’s act as facilitators for the club along with two geography professors from the CEG both of whom will be taking over the club in the following year. The 4 facilitators are responsible for the overall content of the meetings however at the end of the year the students will be able to discuss and help steer the direction of the club for the following year.

The students elected a committee which is compromised of five offices: president, vice president, secretary, communicator, and organizer. Each office carries specific responsibilities yet as a committee they are responsible for the direction of the club’s community initiatives. They also meet once a month with the facilitators to discuss the upcoming topics and projects.
Two Saturdays a month the entire club meets to learn about a specific topic given by the facilitators which we then relate to an existing environmental problem. The students will be given notebooks in which they can take notes, formulate ideas/hypothesis and express their opinions.

The club members have expressed a desire to hold informational sessions that coincide with each of their community projects and are presenting their proposals to village officials to gain their support. The three upcoming projects include a tree nursery, a water sanitation hole for showers and drains, and family gardens. The t-shirts will be kept by the facilitators and then given out to the students for use at our community projects. At the end of the school year the students with the best attendance will be given those same t-shirts to keep.

The tree nursery is part of our initiative to improve the soil quality by combating erosion and also to improve the air quality by trapping carbon. The trees that we plant are either Moringa or fruit bearing trees. In collaboration with the Department of Forestry Office in Tchatchou, we will be donating the trees to any community member who attends an informational session. To kick off the project the club will be setting up a booth for Moringa on market day. They will have a translator in local language from ABM who will explain the nutritional and environmental benefits and then each participant will go home with a tree. They will also take the opportunity to talk about the tree nursery and let community members know how to access these resources in the future. The money will be spent to purchase clear plastic containers which will act as greenhouses to start out the seedlings, after which they will be transplanted into collected plastic water bags.

The second initiative is on water and sanitation. There are numerous outdoor showers that produce run-off in Tchatchou and eventually collect garbage. These sewage pits are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and dangerous for the health of the community. The club has determined that the improvement of these areas with a proper sanitation hole would benefit the entire community. The materials needed for the project are sand, gravel, stones, charcoal and water loving trees. We have decided to donate three completed water sanitation holes to families and then to offer up our services to any community member who was willing to supply all the materials besides the charcoal. We are planning to complete at least 30. We feel that this will encourage the community to invest in themselves and also set the example for future homeowners to implement the improved design thereby eliminating the problem.

The third project is our group gardening plot. The club is going on a technical visit to Project Songhai in Parakou to learn about sustainable farming and will then take the techniques back to Tchatchou to start their own plot within the community garden area. After which the members will be donating at least three gardens for deserving families within Tchatchou in conjunction with giving them an informational session on nutrition that they learned in meeting #9. These gardens will be located within each of the family’s concession or alongside their homes to ensure proper maintenance. The students will be learning about composting, seed collection and natural pesticides which will enable the families to not only maintain their gardens but also re-establish them after this growing season. We are hoping to generate the public interest through word of mouth and by wearing our t-shirts during the process. Then we will create a sign to indicate to passer-bys that it was donated by our club and to contact us if they are interested in receiving help with starting their own garden.

Number of people involved:

# of
# of Service Providers (work partners, Project co-organizers,
technicians, animators, etc.)
Women over 24 2
Men over 24 2
Girls 15-24 5
Boys 15-24 15
Girls under 15
Boys under 15


Item Number Unit Cost Total Cost
t-shirts 20 1.000 20.000
Notebook 20 100 2.000
1st Project
Plastic buckets 4 1.000 4.000
2nd Project
Charcoal 30 150 4.500
3rd Project
Garden patch 1 3.000 3.000
Watering can 1 1.500 1.500
Seeds 10 1.000 10.000
Total 45.000

Amount Requested: 45.000

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