Sustainable Soil Maldives

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We are Sustainable Soil Maldives and we are setting up a composting of organic waste project based in Addu, Maldives. Under supervision of the TUdelft are we, Sterre Breedijk, Ruth Vraka, Thom van der Ent and Nicolaas van Zuylen, engaging on the project. To possibly destroy your expectation, the Maldives is not only crystal-clear seas and pure white beaches. The Maldives have many problems such as waste management, too little land for too many people and climate change. We are going to tackle two specific problems concerning organic waste management and agriculture in the Maldives, we will describe these more detailed below.

What problems will we tackle?

90% of food consumed in the Maldives (United Nations Development Program) is imported, mostly from India or Sri Lanka. This is because of the limited amount of fertile soil (or soil at all!) in the Maldives. Importing these large amount of food leads to a lot of CO2 emission by shipping and makes the food much more expensive for the locals and resorts.

Also, there is a huge waste problem in the Maldives as there is very little space to get rid of the waste. There even is an island which is full of waste called trash island. Within the waste problem, people have a lot of difficulties with the disposal of organic waste. Most of the organic waste disposed by resorts, households or other larger entities is thrown into the ocean at night! Often this waste washes up to the shore which pollutes the beautiful white beaches which makes the Maldives famous.

What is our solution?

We want to find a sustainable and continuous solution for the problems above. To start with, we want to donate compost kits to resorts, schools, mosques, households etc. so they can reuse their organic waste by making compost of it. We already have suitable compost kits which are half sponsored by the NGO The Soneva Group. The communities or people using the compost kits can do either of two things with their produced compost. First, they can use the compost for their own garden to provide themselves or their clients with home-grown food. Secondly, they can donate the produced compost to us, we will eventually provide local farmers with compost so they can have more fertile soil to grow their crops. This circular process solves both the import problem and the organic waste problem to some extend! We work together with agriculture consultants, the city councils on the island, multiple NGO’s on the islands and the ministry of agriculture to achieve our goals.

Why do we need you?

To obtain the composting kit, due to the Soneva Group, we only need to pay half of the kits we buy! Therefore, we expect that we need €1400 to buy enough composting kits for the project. Furthermore, we need to travel within the Maldives to enlarge our range of farmers, resorts and households that we can reach. The more money we raise, the larger our range! Distances in the Maldives are big, for now we expect that we need at least €600 for travelling in between the islands and farms. Furthermore we need €1000 for buidling of our own composting kits. We need material like chicken wire, pallets, thermometers and other supplies. Lastly, we need €500 for transportation of the kits and other goods that we need such as a microscope. All together we need €3500 to reach our goal!

Please sponsor us so we can provide the Maldives with a composting system and so that we can reach as many farms and resorts as possible to make the Maldives sustainable!


Thank you!

Sustainable Soil Maldives

You can always contact us for more information by phone or email!

+31 6 11902539

Who provides us with the project?

Resilient Island!

"We are Resilient Island. Nature and People are our most important stakeholders. Our dream is to push the boundaries of possibility in finding new solutions with societal and local impact. We thrive by maintaining a close relationship with our projects, seeing them grow, and creating space when project maturity is reached. We work with and for local communities and nature. This requires an intimate and creative approach for every project. We believe that this is the way to enable accessible and responsible food production globally. It means creating places where we and others can feel at home years later.

Resilient Island’s mission is to realize localized food production which is embedded in and embraced by local communities and achieves long-term success, resilience, and self-sufficiency for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Our ambition is to do this together with local partners and communities. This means respecting local values and traditions and building a community for a long sustainable future. This way, our projects are tailored to local circumstances and values, establishing shared responsibility and ownership.

By continuously reinvesting our profits in a better future and challenging our concepts we improve circularity and reduce our own social and environmental food footprint."

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Newsletter - Project Update 6 (February 14th, 2024)

14-02-2024 | 15:51 The End   Dear Donor, As we have returned to our lovely cold country, it is time to provide you with one final update on the project. Currently, we are likely back in the classrooms, working on our new course, and it feels as if we never left. The past three months have flown by like nothing. Of course, we did not sit still during that time. Let us first explain what we accomplished in the last week of the project before taking you through the key takeaways of the past three months.   Even more compost kits We realized that we had enough budget left to build some more significant compost kits, so we took action. We visited two farms in the nature park that were interested in constructing additional kits. The owner of one farm was a very smart man who wanted to build the compost kits himself but needed assistance in allocating resources. We provided him with five more pallets and enough chicken wire to construct five additional kits. He declined our help with the construction, which we respected. He mentioned that, if possible, he would build more in the future. At the other farm, Sinna's dad's farm, we built two more kits, and they expressed interest in building more, promising to keep us updated.   Creating our own garden We created a garden at the Mainz International School, the school neighboring the agricultural college. Together with the kids from the school, we planted various plants, and they agreed to honor our donors by dedicating the garden to them. We crafted a handmade sign with the names of the specific donors on it, and the school will hang it above the garden. See our instagram for some good photos.   Thank You Dinner We hosted a large Thank You dinner, inviting all the important stakeholders from our project to a local restaurant. The attendees included Mohammed Waheed from Equator Village, several principals and teachers from the schools, and Fathmath from Veshi Saafu. Bringing them all together and saying goodbye was a good experience. Some stakeholders shared kind words, and we even received a few gifts. It served as a nice way to conclude the project.   More birthdays Having celebrated Steve's birthday last week, we now had another one to celebrate. Nicolaas had his birthday, and fortunately for him, he wasn't stuck with just the rest of us. He received a visit from his father and girlfriend. They joined us in some of our activities in Addu City later on. It was nice to show them our home for the past three months.   Souvenirs On the day before our flight back to the capital city Malé, we met with Zameela from the NGO Live&Learn one final time, as promised. Unfortunately, she was not available at the last moment, but one of her colleagues provided us with the promised souvenirs. These handmade pendants, crafted from coconut husks and hand-painted, look fantastic. We have brought them home and are figuring out how to get them to you. Expect a message from us soon.   Compost kit gezeik Once again (as of typing this in February), there has been a delay in the shipment of the remaining 30 small compost kits. It almost sounds like a joke, but unfortunately, it's not. As mentioned last week, we have devised a plan to ensure a smooth delivery when they arrive. We will be having a meeting with the company that supplies us with the kits to get a better picture and finalize the arrangement. Our project providers from the startup Resilient Island will be going to the Maldives soon for their own project and can assist us with some arrangements if necessary.   Looking back It has been a fruitful three months. We had to adjust the scope of our project due to delivery issues with the small compost kits, but fortunately, we had a backup plan. We built the large compost kits on multiple islands, eventually constructing 20, most of which were built in Equator Village and the two farms, with a few in various schools. We also distributed 10 small compost kits to schools and households, with 30 more on the way. If the composting process goes well, Equator Village will now have enough compost kits to process all of their organic waste, using the compost for their gardens. The farms will have a place to process their gardening waste and an opportunity to create their own fertilizer. The schools have learned valuable lessons on sustainability and composting and have expressed enthusiasm about continuing composting at home and incorporating composting in the lesson materials in the next years. Many of the schools and farms are connected on Facebook and Viber (local WhatsApp) and will hopefully continue sharing their experiences with composting. Thank you once again for your support.   Best regards, Nicolaas, Sterre, Ruth, and Thom   Fun fact: In the Maldives, when it's someone's birthday, it's a tradition to egg them with the number of eggs corresponding to their age. Unfortunately, Nicolaas sought shelter on his birthday, and if you are reading this, rest assured, you will still get them one day.
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