Hair extensions harm poultry
Synthetic hair extensions are currently very popular in many countries in Africa. However, when hair extensions are removed, they are often dumped in the street, and this is proving a health hazard to wild and domestic birds. As birds forage for food on the ground, their feet can easily get entangled in the cast-off strands of hair. The strands of hair are very fine and strong, and if they get caught round the birds’ legs can gradually cut off the blood supply. Many birds die as a result.
Poultry are an important source of wealth and social well-being in many places. They provide us with meat and eggs as a source of protein and energy, and their waste is used to keep soil fertile. Other birds eat insects that can be damaging to crops and to our health. We need to take responsibility for disposing of waste products safely so that they do not harm animals and the local environment.
Aaron Kalala Karumba, Uvira, BP 3251, Bujumbura II, Burundi.
Thanks to Footsteps, we have discovered moringa with its many virtues. Four years ago we received three young moringa seedlings which we planted. Now we already have the seeds with a view to starting a nursery. We want to scale up our activity and popularise the use and consumption of moringa. We also intend eventually to extract moringa oil, but we have come up against a problem of resources and support. We are also interested in growing Jatropha curcas, which exists naturally in our villages, and can be used as a bio fuel.
We are looking for other Footsteps readers working in this area so that we can share experience and technical support.
Abbé Jacques Matondo Kussa, BP 82, Kwilu-Ngongo, Bas-Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Making mango butter
I really enjoy reading the publications on your tilz website and have worked my way through most of the archived issues online. One topic I have not yet come across, but would love to have information on, is the production of mango seed butter.
I understand that this is done in India, and I am wondering whether it would be possible here in Burkina Faso (where I work with a Christian NGO). Would any other Footsteps readers be able to help me with information? We have an abundance of mangoes and, although we dry some and have recently started making mango vinegar, many still go to waste. Many women’s groups here are involved in shea butter production, but if a similar process was possible with the mango kernels it would open up new avenues for them. This idea came to me from seeing the ingredients of a UK produced body butter. Many thanks for any advice you might be able to give.
Catherine Holmes, ANTBA, 01 BP 6126, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
I found Tearfund’s tilz website by chance and I was interested in the articles concerning small businesses. I think it would be a good idea to gather ideas related to creating small family businesses which would enable families to be self-sufficient. There are some business ideas which are suitable for rural families and there are others which are appropriate for city families.
I currently have a small family business in Santiago, in Chile, but I want to experiment with new projects. I am looking for ideas and experiences from other countries which I could adapt to my context.
Many people are discriminated against for various reasons, and in my case it was due to age. I became unemployed at the age of 55 and I was unable to find another stable job. I currently have my own business and I have just started to run an accounting office. Starting my own small business has enabled me to support my family. I have two young children and another baby boy who is due to be born next month. I will soon be 62 and I believe I have the vitality and perseverance to set up another business and help others who request it. I would like to encourage and help people with my experience of setting up small businesses.
Juan Antonio Coloma Vieyra