Our Model

Our Model

The Challenge

The Challenge

Over the last few centuries, large areas of wild habitats have been turned into agricultural land. What are the root causes of this sustainability challenge? And how can we resolve it?

In rural Zambia, the majority of the people are subsistence farmers. People openly admit to unsustainable use of the natural resources when they are struggling to feed their families. To counteract this trend, By Life Connected is facilitating the design of sustainable food systems.

The Model

The Model

We use a bottom-up community-led method of development that organizes and mobilizes the community. It incorporates the values “unity” and “if we take care of nature, nature will take care of us” in the decision-making process, providing direction towards sustainable projects.

We enable a communally driven system change leading to sustainable food systems, in which By Life Connected only supports and facilitates. The model of these sustainable food systems consists of four pillars:

Water Security - Food Security - Conservation Education - Sustainable Energy

This method is currently applied to areas with an agricultural focus, which resulted in these specific pillars. The strength of this method, is that it can be applied to areas with a different traditional focus, e.g. pastoralists or hunther/gatherers. This can result in a different sustainable food system design.

Water Security

By creating access to water year-around, a community can be greatly uplifted. A way of creating this water security is through the creation of a cascade of check dams along small rivers. The goal is to form a perennial river that people can use for gardening, fishing and feeding their livestock throughout the year. A pilot project is done in Mulendema Chiefdom.

Food Security

Through the creation of water security, food security follows. “If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us”. What better way, in a country full of farmers, to realize this value through regenerative farming. Regenerative farming focuses on improving the soil health without the use of chemicals and soil tillage. At the demonstration farm in Mponda Village, local farmers are invited to learn these regenerative methods.

Conservation Education

A large part of the mindset change towards a more sustainable future, are our children. And what is more magical than giving children the opportunity to see elephants for the first time? In the Conservation Education clubs students learn about nature conservation from guest lecturers such as wildlife scientists, rangers, and organic farmers. They get to experience the joy of seeing wild animals in their natural habitats on safari with the lodges. These are the children who will become our future conservationists.

Sustainable Energy

To prevent deforestation, By Life Connected has started a pilot with bamboo plantations on degraded farmland in Mulendema chiefdom. A solid species that can replace the current timber and charcoal used for cooking. We have also distributed over 21,000 clean cooking stoves in the communities around the Kafue National Park To regenerate the forest, we work together with farmers to follow the Farmers Managed Natural Regeneration method.