Everybody is talking about beach clean-ups now. Collecting garbage and plastic particles when you are at the beach to save the environment. Well…in Chinkonono we don’t have any beaches close by. But nevertheless our villagers started to collect scrap metal.
While right now it is a good business to sell metal scraps to people in Kafue region, our villagers came up with a brilliant idea to reuse some of the metal parts to build a pressing machine.
Around this time of the year some people grow sunflowers and pumpkins. Of course pumpkins are being used as relish in their meals. But the seeds, just as the sunflower seeds, can be used in many ways: naturally or roasted for salads and snacks, food supplement for the animals or pressed to oil.
Up until now we had no means to produce our own oil for cooking or salads. But those times are over now. some parts of the collected metals scraps were transformed into a DIY Zambian Style Pressing machine. Sounds weird? It works though! Of course it is not operated by any engine or battery or power supply. It takes a lot of hard physical labour and muscle to use the press. But it serves its purpose well.
Here you can see Layton and Mubabe waiting for the next “client” to offer their services of operating the press 😉
Just to give you an example: 1kg of sunflower seeds results in about 700ml of oil in a modern press. So we probably get a little less. But it is a big achievement. The villagers now can produce different types of oil. At this moment we process the seeds of sunflowers, pumpkins and Moringa trees. All of those are very healthy and add valuable nutrients to people’s diets.
The other plus side is, of course, that now it is much cheaper for them to purchase the oil for their families. Mostly the oil is only available in town. So we will also offer some amounts of the oils in our small PAF shop to make it easily accessible for people in and around Chinkonono.
Due to the severe drought farming is very hard these days and many people do not have the crops to cultivate plants like sunflowers. That is why PAF will look into starting a big sunflower field around PAF Center.
But we have to be careful with the pressing machine. We already have some “thieves” that try to sneak away the leftovers of the pressing process for their own benefit 😉
Of course we will add those leftovers to the animals’ food to make sure they get nutrients as well to help them through those rough times.