Over these past two months of Covid 19 caused lockdown there has been a huge impact on everyone from individuals to large hotels, restaurants, companies and governments. There is no money coming in but people still need to eat. The lucky ones have savings or they live a more sustainable life in which the IMPACTS OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC AND LOCKDOWN ARE SOFTENED.
Cases as of the 17th of May 2020- Source NRP.org
The reason for this post is that we feel it is important to share some of our experiences of this time so that others may take what they need from it, or nothing at all.
As you may know three years ago The Sands at Nomad started it's own organic farm only ten minutes from the hotel grounds. This farm has for years produced fruit and vegetables for the Sands Restaurant. In the past, it was very hard to be able to produce enough for the demand of Diani's busiest restaurant but now, times have changed and the real benefit of the path towards sustainability becomes clearer.
Since the forced closure of the hotel and restaurant as the county entered 'lockdown' the rains arrived and the farm has been upping its productivity. Suddenly, almost overnight we were producing ENOUGH of many items for the staff members who remained on site and with excess of some harvest to be able to give away to friends and neighbours or to sell to help cover the farms running costs.
|Lockdown or not, growing never stops growing.. useful.|
How can we try to lower the impact of this on us when we have no income coming in?
Your answer could be, Sustainable thinking, living and doing.
An example of some sustainable practice from the Sands:
With no guests around the hotel it has been possible to do some maintenance work, but this costs money and materials... so, with a controlled alien vegetation removal program of some of the Neem trees (which can be sustainably harvested by the way ;)) income can be generated and/or materials for future use can be produced. Imagine the cost of good hardwood timber in Kenya today, now imagine the value of ten tons of it. This could go quite far in covering costs... Oh yes AND we now have enough sustainably sourced firewood to run the pizza oven for months!.. saving hundreds of thousands of shillings. ;-)
The Neems are harvested generating much needed income to cover expenses and losses, the space where the Neem was is planted with a number of indigenous seedlings which will claim back from the invasive Neem so increasing the natural environment.
NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS are very much 'SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS'
A child who is allowed to play on the ground, to explore, get dirty and live naturally will come into contact with far more bugs, parasites and even viruses and another child living in a sanitized flat in a city. This will mean that the 'wild' child will have a more healthy immune system as it has had to develop this over the years. The 'sanitised' child however may not have come into contact with much to cause it's immune system to have a good repertoire of experience with various illnesses and infections. In this case the 'wild child' is more sustainable (longer lasting) than the 'sanitised child'.
It is now known that 'the virus' Corona 19, originated in Bats, whether it was lab created to do further damage to humanity is besides the point.
There are up to 15 know strains of Corona viruses in Africa already.. the chances are that those of us who live here, and are more in direct contact with the 'natural systems' around us will have come into contact with these already over the years.. and that, quite possibly gives us an advantage over the 'sanitised side of society'.
Those living closer to the natural systems have greater chance to develop immunity as, the natural systems are full of diversity, through this diversity we are encountering diversity and it is in diversity that there is stability. A world with one super species which removes all the rest will end with the super species demise due to it not having an ‘experienced’ immune system to deal with sudden new Viruses in a capable manner. Because it removed the ‘natural’ way to be ‘immunized’ to its environment.
In closing it may be best to summarise what might have ended in silence for some.
How are you living? How much fresh fruit and vegetables are you having to BUY. Is there a way that you can begin to grow some of your own food to take away the DEPENDENCE you have on others to supply you.
|One of the daily harvest from this past week|
How much waste are you producing? Are you utilising all of it that you can? Are you storing what might be useful for future use. How can this waste help you spend less time and money later? Are you dependant on a waste collection service to come pick up all the 'non biodegrade' waste (packaging) you are producing or do you burn it into fumes to the detriment of our future?
Are you reliant on buying drinking water because the ground water is too saline? What would happen IF drinking water supply was to stop? Are you harvesting and storing rainwater?
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND- sustainable thinking.
|Warning- graphic content.|
An example from yesterday- A mongoose has killed one of our brood hens a week before the eggs were to hatch. The Mongoose is my enemy? No! The mongoose and I share common enemies like rats, mice and some snakes. If I learn to live WITH the mongoose by making my chickens safe from them my environment will be more sustainable. The Mongoose (Variety) can then help me removing the rats, mice and snakes which may become problems in the future without the Mongooses help.
Don't blame bats for giving us Corona, blame humanity for becoming too sanitised and removed from the natural (sustainable) systems to have the ability to deal with it.