Footsteps magazine issues on a wooden desk.

From: Footsteps 14

Practical tips for carrying out successful immunization programmes

by Michael Madany.

When I began doing agroforestry work with communities in Somalia in 1985, I wondered how to solve the problem of transporting tree seedlings. Tree seedlings grown in polyethylene tubes need great care while they are being carried to make sure they are not damaged before planting.

Farmers needed seedlings in the rainy season when transport, even if available, was impossible because of the condition of the roads. Besides, I did not want people to depend on trucks to deliver trees. So I hired a local carpenter to make some wooden boxes which we used for a number of years before they finally rotted and broke apart. The size of these boxes was another disadvantage - they could carry about 30 pots and were too heavy for any normal person to carry any distance.

In 1988 I considered another solution. I bought a number of empty 20 litre tins from the local market which were originally used for vegetable oil. They were not expensive. They were painted to stop rust and rope handles were put on two of the sides. These tins - called biib in the local language - had many advantages...

I am sure that similar tins are available in markets elsewhere in the world and would encourage other groups to be aware of their usefulness.

Michael Madany works with World Concern, Box 61333, Nairobi, Kenya. This article is used with kind permission of Baobab.

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