Profile: Paul Odiwour Ogola, Homa Bay Kenya

I am the director and founder of the PermoAfrica training centre in Homa Bay Kenya. We have set ourselves the target of eradicating food poverty in Homa Bay county, using permaculture design, community gardens and through inspiring individuals to take action at a community level. I completed my PDC with S39 in 2016 and have since worked with them on the 2017 and 2018 PDC’s as well as the refugee project in West Nile region also in 2018.

In recent years we have began an our outreach project offering training to a network of communities in the Homa bay area. We have helped over 30 local communities to start community garden and trained 100’s of participants. I am hopiing we can track the progress of these trainees through this website. Keeping a record of achievements and progress is so important for this work to grow.

Community gardens around the world, our contribution to the SUII project

This 5 minute video serves an introduction to our work. It was produced for the Scottish Universities Insight Institute — a collection of universities with an interest in community gardening and the process of how people come together to help meet needs.

We are really grateful to the team who put this together and to SUII for their interest in our work.  It tells the story of how the Wales – Africa link really worked for us and helped provide the training and momentum we needed to develop our ideas and to create the momentum to kick start this project. If nothing else we have learned the importance of collaboration and also of sharing the outcomes from the work to inspire and inform others.

PermoAfrica

In 2017 I resolved to create my own permaculture training centre, ‘PermoAfrica’ and with the support of the community this has come and about and grown into a regional training centre. We have developed training and mutual support links with over 40 surrounding villages and trainied over 500 farmers in permaculture techniques.

I that time I have evoloved my own teaching method and style, where I introduce the first 6 principles of permaculture thorugh the practical activity of making a keyhole bed. Observation, use of local materials to catch and store energy also builds an unterstanding and empathy for soil and soil building, the bedorck of everything. From there we are encouraging our students to build productive systems, tha not anly produce vegetables and build and retain souil but also that act like a teacher. We teach that there should be no waste and to look at every item or marerial that we think of as waste and find a way to use into the garden system.

Homa bay, Kenya

Homa bay county is to the south of Homa bay lake Victoria and this includes some of the islands in the lake as well. There is farming in the region and historically there has been mining for minerals and other activites. In recent times the area is developing quite fast and htere is progress but there is also a background of rural poverty and this is something which has inspired us at PermoAfrica. We set ourselves the goal of eliminating food pverty in the region and in our dreams we want to create a shift in the region whereby permaculture becomes and prevailing methodology.

In recent times our weather has been greatly affected by climate change, rains are coming later and being ore erratic, the area is more semi-arid now that before but we finding that the permaculture tec