In November 2020, seminars to assess the needs of the local communities in the context of climate change took place in Tashkent and Tashkent Region using the method of Participatory Community Appraisal/Planning (PCA/PCP). As a result of the meetings, a number of environmental, economic and social problems specific for the region as well as the degree of their importance and complexity has been identified and discussed.
The seminars were held within the framework of the project "Innovative Uzbekistan", implemented by ODB Brussels (Belgium) in partnership with Eco Forum of Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan), the New Diplomacy (Czech Republic) with funding from the European Union.
At this link you can read more about the PCA/PCP method as a tool to reveal the problems of the local communities and assess the potential to solve them using local resources (RU).
The trainers together with the local participants have managed to identify the following problems for the city of Tashkent:
- air pollution;
- cutting down trees;
- lack of water for drinking and watering plants;
- poor waste management;
- water pollution;
While for the Tashkent region, in addition to excessive overcutting of trees, water pollution and low water supplies, the participants revealed:
- the reduction in the number of birds;
- overdevelopment of the territories;
To tackle a number of identified problems caused by the consequences of the climate change, the trainers have analysed the needs of the local communities in affordable green technologies. Additionally, successful practices that can potentially help the employment and improve life standards and health condition of the population without harming the environment were presented.
Energy Saving Technologies. A Nice Hobby or a Vital Necessity?
“The organisers tasked me to find practitioners who could demonstrate how green technologies could be applied by any family, makhallia (the local community in Uzbekistan), or kishlak (the Uzbek village), said the local entrepreneur Dmitry Nosach. That is why the project events took place directly in one of the farms in Tashkent Region. “Gradually people are getting the understanding that they can for example contribute to better environmental sustainability by using rain water flowing into irrigation ditches to water the plants in their gardens”, he admitted.
According to him, if residents of the capital and large cities mostly study energy-saving approaches as a hobby, for villagers land fertility technologies, inventions helping to save water, energy, and irrigation systems are simply important to survive. People in the rural areas are largely dependent on harvest and energy while energy supplies often leave much to be desired. For example, gas pressure drops to the level that it is impossible to cook food on it.
“Provided our participants represented by farmers and entrepreneurs see the practical and financial advantages of the presented technologies, they will, of course, spread this information further to their friends, neighbours, relatives – that is one of the goals of this project,” he concluded.
Recycling Organic Waste with Earthworms and Good Microorganisms
At the seminar, a trainer and entrepreneur Peter Plekhanov delivered two presentations describing technologies used on his own farm: "Recycling Organic Waste Using Earthworms and Good Microorganisms", and a "Using the Process of Thermophilic Combustion of a Substrate from Organic Waste to Heat Water".
Petr first started to recycle organic waste, when a teenager, having read a book about breeding worms. Back then he could not even think that one day it would become the work of his life, which would bring him not only profits, but also help to increase the fertility of the land of Uzbekistan.
The seminar was attended by people of different professions: entrepreneurs who had just started their businesses, factories’ directors, farmers, CSOs activists and house wives. Among them there were people who were already engaged in breeding earthworms and producing vermicompost, as well as those who consider it as a hobby, in addition to their businesses, and young people who have not yet decided whether they would like to use these technologies as means to earn money or as an environmentally friendly hobby.
Mr Plekhanov explained both technologies in detail using flipchart, video presentations, hand-out materials and answered questions from the audience.
“Though it may seem easy at first sight to produce vermicompost, it takes time, knowledge and skills”, said a present at the event entrepreneur Bosithon Siddikkhodjaev. “One needs to think of the composition of compost, the time to stir up the worms, the amount of beneficial bacteria to be added, how to feed the worms correctly, how to take out large particles of waste and separate worms from the ready to use product”, he reminded.
Composting involves heating the compost up to 70 ° C for 2-6 months and Peter Plekhanov demonstrated how the heat of the compost heap can be used to heat water or even the room. After all, the production of energy is a side effect of composting process. Water heating technology as any other, has its own technical requirements: the height and width of the heap, the length of the pipes that go inside, the humidity and the size of the substrate particles from which the compost heap is made out.
The organisers of the two trainings provided the participants with an opportunity to see each presented technology in practice. They could touch the warms, feel the heating compost and see the ready to use biohumus.
“The participants were amazed that there was no bad smell at the farm despite the great amount of organic waste”, noted the owner of a local household Barno Ghafurova, “It is appeared that good bacteria are the ones to “blamed for it”,” she said. By suppressing pathogenic microflora, good bacteria help fighting unpleasant odours, and process organic waste into soil for plants and worms.
“Thanks to the training, the participants including me, understood that the problem of climate change and the environment is not a some far away issue we have nothing to do with. And everyone can contribute to solving those problems, for example, by starting to separate organic waste from all other garbage and slowly recycle it. This will improve the soil in one’s garden, will leave less garbage to be recycled and disposed of, plus families and children will develop useful habits," summed up Larisa Lebedinskaya, a florist and a participants of the seminar.
Text: Zhavdat Talipov
Photo: Yuri Kirshankov
|The content is solely the responsibility of ODB Brussels and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.|
This material has been prepared within the framework of the project "Innovative Uzbekistan" implemented by ODB Brussels (Belgium) in partnership with Eco Forum of Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan), the New Diplomacy (Czech Republic) funded by the European Union.