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Finding Solutions
Robert V. Lange

Our stove remains a health-giving blessing. No matter what else we undertake, we are always proud to help women and children come home to a house that is healthy and comfortable.
And we are fortunate that our efforts are recognized throughout the region. ICSEE(T) will again receive the Uhuru Torch award. On June 11, Tanzania will recognize the Project for the fourth time. Coming to the Village of Losirwa , it will honor the work of bringing boma-wide electricity via solar-powered micro-grids.
Read below about a brand new ICSEE(T) initiative--the ICSEE Cow Fodder Factory.

This is an important part of the plan for facing recurring serious drought in our region. As rain becomes less dependable, we have multiple responses for now, and for the future.

And finally, I'd like to thank Stephanie Reiss and the school children of the Maasai Stoves & Solar Club at Vassal Lane Upper School for their participation in fundraising and information sharing at the recent festival in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Their enthusiasm inspires us all!

Thank you to everyone who helps to make the ICSEE vision a reality.
With great appreciation,


May 2019
Drought--facing the challenge
Thriving in a rain-based economy is not easy. It requires agility, flexibility, and financial resources.
We have just come through a very bad interval with no rain in central Tanzania and most of Kenya and Uganda. This has had a serious impact on the food supply for people and on grazing for livestock.
 Rain has finally come.

Surviving a drought
What does it take to get through a drought? Do problems remain, even after the rains come?

The lack of rain has a direct and immediate impact on the availability of grass for grazing. During drought, grass disappears quickly and there is no substitute for purchased food. Therefore, we responded immediately by buying and supplying food supplements for the livestock.
Livestock included the ICSEE(T) breeding herd; the bulls of the women's organization herd; and the goats of our three widows' groups.

With the return of the rains, the livestock are now back to grass, because it regrows quite quickly once the rains return.
A failed corn crop

But due to the drought, our region’s corn crop failed. This is the people’s staple food. Soon the people are going to be facing extremely high food prices due to such a limited supply.

We now have good storage capacity and will soon be buying a large volume of corn at relatively low prices, and storing it. When the price goes up we will sell corn to our 300 ICSEE(T) women partners at today's price. This is a key feature of the drought response plan.
ICSEE (T) is talking with the women about the future, and about diversifying their businesses in the face of increasing drought occurrence. 

The women are very good at managing cornflour
mills. (pictured to the left). We will probably capitalize one or more mills for the women's organization when we can. For now, they will continue with cattle.
Announcing the Cow Fodder Factory
Less dependable rain

We all prefer grass-fed cattle. It is the historic and natural way for pastoralists to thrive on the plains of East Africa. But with less dependable rain, there will be times of serious grass shortage.

In these dry times, Maasai are going to have to sell some of their cows and buy good fodder for the ones they keep. Two storage tanks at the factory

A new factory
We are proud to announce the establishment of our new Cow Fodder Factory at our lot in Mto wa Mbu . It is always gratifying to us when we find actions that serve several purposes. This new factory is very special in that way.
Over the years, we've learned that droughts and grass shortages are going to be a permanent feature of the pastoralist life here. So providing high quality and affordable cow fodder provides an essential service to the cattle herders who will not be able to depend on traditional grazing.
We have our own hybrid breeding herd selected for better drought tolerance, and other desirable qualities. We also have our Manyara feedlot where we are paid to take care of cattle for others.
And we will create at least five jobs with the new factory. In everything we do, creating employment opportunities is high on the list of priorities.
Turning waste into valuable food

We are very happy to be able to use ingredients that are "waste" residues of other processes.

Maize and rice brand are leftovers from flour and rice commercial production and are full of good nutrients.
Sunflower cake is what is left when oil is pressed from sunflower seeds, and is still full of calories and protein. And corncobs, left over from the human staple, provide more calories and bulk and fiber to the fodder, after we treat them for digestibility, and add them to the mix.

High quality storage bins allow us to buy ingredients when prices are low, and protect them until they are needed. We contract with the lowest-priced sources and have an adequate supply to tide us over through the dry seasons, whenever they come.
After all our own uses, the sale of the rest of our production will pay enough for all the expenses and salaries. The factory will be self-sustaining. And it will be an example of how it is possible to turn “waste” into something of value that meets a critical need.
Children working to raise funds
The Maasai Stoves & Solar Club of the Vassal Lane Upper School in Cambridge, Massachusetts presented the Project to crowds of visitors who attended the 2019 MayFair in Harvard Square last week.

The club members demonstrated the model stove and solar unit, sold Maasai-made jewelry, and gave out donation cards, raising much-needed funds. Thanks to all the children who volunteered, including Anneliese, Eliza, Ethan, Ezra, Luna, Nathanial, and Nicholas. You did an amazing job! And a special shout out goes to Stephanie Reiss, for lending her support to this very special fundraiser.
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