Objective 1: Community Development
Develop alternate livelihood strategies within rainforest communities to alleviate poverty and hunger to improve health as well as minimise the existing hunting pressure on wildlife, enabling the sustainable use of their natural resources.
Assist rainforest communities through the provision of alternate protein sources.
Alternative livelihood Projects - Protein Farming
A major component of TCA's work is to establish a sustainable source of protein in each village. In order to reduce the amount of overhunting in the area, people need to actively manage their own sources of protein in the villages. People have a limited supply of village protein and have few resources to develop in this area without external assistance. Since 2004, TCA has established alternative sources of protein for village communities with varying degrees of success. Alternatives such as rabbits, chickens and fish are all kept in farmed conditions with appropriate materials, training and livestock being distributed throughout the project area. TCA currently focuses its efforts on providing fish fingerlings to villages when requested.
Project 1: Rabbit Farming
Activities include supporting TCA rabbit trainer to increase the level of interest and productivity in rabbit farming throughout the project area.
NOTE: Rabbits are kept in captivity and presently pose no threat to other species and ecosystems in the PNG environment.
Why Rabbits? Won't they escape?
Rabbits have been successfully farmed in West Papua for over 50 years. Rabbit farming began in Papua New Guinea in 1992. There have been no reported incidences in West Papua or PNG of rabbits escaping and establishing in the wild. Rabbits originally come from arid environments and do not survive well in humid and tropical areas. For example there are no feral populations of rabbits in northern rainforests of Australia or any other tropical rainforest in the world.
TCA has decided to pursue rabbit farming as a replacement mammal for a mammal. The idea being, that people will hopefully eat rabbits and not tree kangaroos. Rabbits produce more offspring than most native mammal in the Torricelli Mountain Range. Provided the rabbits are well managed by the villages, people will have a sustainable protein source. For example three female rabbits and one male rabbit will provide a family with one rabbit to eat each week.
Rabbits provide excellent by-products including manure, fur and potentially a small cash income. There are no cultural or religious limitations for farming and eating rabbits. Rabbits can survive and breed well on locally grown food such as sweet potato, corn, beans and grasses. For these reasons TCA has chosen rabbits as its first protein farming venture.
TCA has provided each village with nails, wire and hinges to build rabbit cages. Those villages that have completed making their rabbit cages have received rabbits from TCA. Representatives from each village have attended a short training course and more training will be given as the rabbit farming progressed. TCA has supplied hundreds of rabbits to the villages with local rabbit farming experts identified and engaged as rabbit trainers. Vincent Kelele from Wigote village has successfully bred over 500 rabbits in his village and is now in charge of maintaining the program as his own personal business.
Project 2: Fish farming
Activities include the distribution of materials to improve the quality and longevity of fish farming ponds and continue to deliver fingerlings to farmers.
The Tenkile Conservation Alliance has been implementing various protein alternatives into the participating villages since 2003. Currently we are focusing on strengthening fish farms at each village. TCA has established two fish breeding facilities at the TCA base in Lumi. All villages are able to collect fingerlings from the base as they are required. TCA has also provided support to a fish breeder in the Sibilanga area to service the Weimang villages.
In order to maintain this project we require K15,000 ($6,000 US) each year to employ our animal caretakers. If you would like to contribute click here.
Project 3: Pig Harvesting
This is a new project, which would include activities that investigate the barriers to pig harvesting and implement appropriate systems to increase pig harvesting throughout the Torricelli Mountain Range.
Project 4: Chicken Farming
TCA began a chicken farming project for each village, using the Austrolaps chicken which is ideal in that it provides people with a source of eggs and meat unlike the usual village chicken which is much smaller.
People from each village were provided with materials to house the chickens and training to look aftr them. Due to the shortage of live chickens available for distribution, TCA was unable to deliver enough livestock throughout the project area to make this protein project a real success.
Support livelihood improvements for local villages, through provision of assured supply of clean water, VIP latrines and improved hygiene, which includes benefits to community health and well-being.
Activities include the delivery of water tanks to the 50 participating villages and neighbouring villages and the delivery of training and advocacy programs in WASH.
WASH – Water and Sanitation Hygiene
The Tenkile Conservation Alliance has a well established partnership with Wateraid Australia to provide adequate drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene practices throughout the project area. To date TCA has installed 350 1000 gallon Tuffa Water tanks and every household has their own toilet. From what people tell us, there is nowhere else in PNG that has delivered this level of WASH service to remote villages in PNG.
To see how we did this look at the awareness booklet we produced here.
We aim to deliver more water tanks and improve sanitation by assisting communities to change hygiene behaviours and practices for healthy and happy village communities. During 2016 we are focussing our efforts on improving management of water tanks, water quality testing and data collection.
In order to complete the water and sanitation program, TCA aims to install a further 260 water tanks and 260 VIP toilets throughout the TCA project area. The 50 village communities do not have the financial capacity to purchase this kind of infrastructure without external help. If you wish to contribute to the purchasing and transport of a 1000 gallon water tank, all fittings and a VIP toilet for a family please click here.
In 2016, we will also work more closely with the local level government and expand the project area to install 16 water tanks throughout 16 new villages. With more financial support we will be able to supply water, hygiene and sanitation services to more villages throughout the district level. This would include our social change awareness programs in nearby schools and with community health workers.
To contribute to this important project click here.
Support advances in agriculture for rainforest villages for ensuring food security and small income generating activities. For example Rice Farming & Vanilla.
Activities include the delivery of rice milling machines, rice farming training and management training, investigation into vanilla farming practices and develop ways to improve success.
TCA has conducted a series of workshops and distributed seeds to Tenkile village representatives to establish market gardens. Two local agricultural experts Matthew Waisi and Andrew Saimbu from Rawete village were invited to conduct the workshops. These men were chosen because of their personal commitment and interest in gardening and nutrition. Both Mathew and Andrew have shown the initiative to establish their own 'nutrition centre' which is a community based organisation that aims to provide people with help and knowledge on improving their own nutrition by gardening and food preparation.
TCA has been supporting communities develop their rice cultivation by distributing rice milling machines and conducting training. A major food security issue facing people in the area is a shortage of sago. The sago palm is a staple food for local people and a source of carbohydrate. With the increases of human population, sago palms are in short supply. A quick and easy solution is to grow rice. The only thing people need are basic training and the rice milling machines. The GEF Small grants program will be providing assistance to support the rice farming project.
Provide rainforest villages with awareness and support to address various social issues that may impact on project success eg: family planning, gender and violence, good governance and civil society, alcohol and drug abuse, project management, personal development etc.
Activities for this component are under development but would involve defining priority areas and developing programs to assist and delivery of those programs. Projects already identified include solar electrification and governance training.
TCA addresses social development with emotional intelligence concepts in all of its training. Key areas of focus have been developing leadership qualities, anger management, conflict resolution and confidence in staff and village capacity building programs. TCA has also developed inclusiveness and gender equity in all of its approaches with systems in place to ensure an equal representation of men and women in village meetings, committees and management of TCA activities.
In the future we aim to develop more training and services to address various social issues relevant to the project area. In 2016, we will be conducting some serious dialogue workshops to help analyse and prioritise key social issues and design key actions to help create stability and change for project success.