I've been interacting with the network for the past couple of years to provide cutting edge knowledge to several of my projects with the World Bank. My clients in borrowing countries really appreciate the information I can share from the network.
We learned lot about the vetiver systems by the Vetiver Network International website. We practiced to clean the polluted water in public lake with the knowledge gathered from them. It is very interesting that we got online advice through the FB, by posing some pictures (floating wetlands with vetiver plants) of our work.
It is with TVNI support that in Kenya we were able to set up an NGO (following good example of SLUF in Ethiopia) that promotes sustainable land use and yes: Vetiver System is very much part of that. Our Kenya network is now vibrant - even if I leave this country one day (I am not a national); we have an active network, and increasing capacity to train farmers, promote the technology in the development world keen on catchment protection (no small thing in Kenya where irrigation projects main problems include catchment degradation), and in the world of engineering.
TVNI has character and charm, it is a real informal network, but it really works worldwide !!! !!! !!!
So when I have to fix this steep slope in Kilifi (on the coast) I just call this TVNI friend in South Africa and since he's following every step on the way, and adding advice. Where to use a drill, where to use a hammer, what fertliizer, what to mix in the hydromulch. It demonstrates that the technology promoted by TVNI is truly open-source and accessible.
We also have some measure of solidarity between members.
Does Alain from DRC not get paid by the road project in Uganda? Half a dozen of TVNI people get mobilized to put pressure (some of it from Kenya).
Does Rose from Siaya again not reliable supply as agreed? She'll be blacklisted. Because only good, reliable suppliers should remain (so buyers - many are farmers - should not be duped).
Is one of our members forcefully evicted (tribal)? Several of us contribute to get him relocated.
TRUST is at the core of TVNI values, and that is where it should remain. To guard our quality.
And this TRUST and SOLIDARITY belongs, make no mistake, in an NGO that promotes something really technical. To slow down water speed, keep soil in place, to guard the basis of many farmers' existence.
In that sense, it is life-changing.
We (our NGO) was greatly helped by TVNI's website, Facebook page and group emails as well as direct emailing, in which we got backstopping on how best to address catchment protection, and deal with rehabilitation of gullies. The technology promoted by TVNI (Vetiver System) is durable, low-cost and very effective; the local communities (farmers) that we work with are happy with the result (even if it takes a bit of training and follow-up to get it right).
From the TVNI website we learnt about the vetiver grass and it's benefits and with support from PLUS-Kenya our Kenyan organization managed to train 12 farmers in Kenya on the same and now we are looking forward to training more farmers on the same, help them establish vetiver grass systems in their farms and realize the full benefits of the same .
The Vetiver Grass Network
We fully support the Vetiver Grass Network as one of the best Non Profit Organizations.
Promoting the use of Vetiver grass for waste water treatment and soil stabilization has greatly reduced the cost of construction of these systems, and made them more affordable in the developing world, thereby improving the lives of many, many people.
T.J. Andrews - Managing Director: PLANNING Systems Services, P. O. Box 188 - 00606, Nairobi, Kenya