ARI’s disaster reconstruction plan is nearing completion
Staff Housing Completed
This year 4 new buildings were completed on the ARI campus. Three are single-story family homes and one is a two-story quadruplex of 1-BR apartments, all for ARI staff. Compared to the previous houses – 40 year-old wooden structures that became extra draughty after the big jiggle of 2011 – the new homes are solid, warm and energy efficient. Kathy Froede, ARI’s Admissions Coordinator, is one of the new residents.
Multi-function Agricultural Training Building
This year, with the tremendous support of United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), we dismantled the old piggery and erected this new multi-purpose facility on the same site. The new building has six sections. At the South end is a unique space where we make organic “bokashi” fertilizer, which is very important in our training program. Until now, bokashi was made on concrete floors. When produced on concrete, air does not enter the material well and fermentation doesn’t proceed well especially in the portion that is in contact with the floor. The bokashi making room of this training building has a dirt floor, and this enables microorganisms to work more easily.
There is a flexible space available for use by participants as needed. Right now there are several hand-built incubators here, which were created by participants who chose this as their summer individual project.
In the next room we have a large gas burner on the floor, which is connected to a gas outlet that pipes methane gas down from the new pig pens, where fermented pig manure is used to produce bio-gas and introduced into the gas line. We use this renewable energy to boil fish that will be mixed into fermented feed for chickens, and to bake bone and egg shells, which become ingredients in bokashi fertilizer. This biogas-fed cooking capability has not only improved ARI’s circulation of internal resources, but offers to participants a concrete example of local resource use, self-sufficiency and sustainability.
Finally, in the sixth room we have water taps that are used to clean our 200-liter plastic containers, used to store fermented feed for chickens pigs and goats. Until this year we had washed all of our feed containers outdoors, even in the rain or winter cold, but now we can do this under a roof! This space is also used to store the empty containers. We could not even imagine the possibility of such a useful facility immediately after the earthquake of 2011. We give thanks to God, who works through all of the people who support the Asian Rural Institute.