Hello everyone, we are Lotte de Vries, Julia Everard and Sybe Duyts. For our minor ‘International Entrepreneurship and Development’ we will be living in Cape Town, South Africa for 3 months to work on a wonderful project in township ‘Belhar’.
We will try to further optimize the use of the aquaponics system that is placed at a daycare centre, the Belhar Early Childhood Development Center, or BECDC.
The idea of an aquaponic system is that grow beds are linked with a fish tank. In such a system, water is circulated between these two and this helps both the fish and the plants grow faster in a symbiotic way. The water of the fish tank is pumped through a collection of nitrifying bacteria which transform the excrement of the fish into nutrition for the plants. In this way, the plants grow faster and the water gets detoxified, creating a clean environment for the fish. The aquaponic-way of growing plants also offers 90% less water usage compared to traditional farming techniques.
The profits made from the harvest can be used to invest in, for example, the learning material for the children at the day-care. Until now it has not been possible to cover the costs and make any profit. Making a profit will require the expansion of the system itself and searching for new customers. Our intention in these three months is to mean as much as possible for everyone involved in the project. Hopefully, by the end of our 3 months, we will leave behind something on which the BECDC can build and with which the children of the Belhar community can be offered a better future.