Progress on Goals


Growing stock of Orange and Black tubes, ready for sale

From our mid-term project report: (reporting until the end of September)
I post this so you can later see what changed relative to the end of September...

Although we are lagging a bit behind in our planning, we expect to meet all our goals within the project:
1. DMS has started to produce Drip Irrigation Systems (DIS), but the quality of their product was insufficient until now to be able to launch the product. DMS’ DIS are therefore not available for sale yet. We decided to postpone putting the product in the market, because we feared that a product of inferior quality would cost customers and therefore market share. Only an excellent product will convince buyers to become loyal customers of DMS. We expect the quality issues to be solved in the coming months, so that in the next dry season - which starts in November - the DIS can be marketed effectively.
At project initiation, we thought most of the investments in DMS would be in machines and building a hangar for a factory. During the project however, we noticed that DMS is quite capable and resourceful when it comes to the technical aspects; but dearly needs to improve its capacity in general & financial management of the enterprise. Investments have therefore partially shifted to these capacities. The goal of the project could be rewritten now to “establish DMS as a solid and self-sustaining enterprise with a production line of DIS”.
2. Two test-case gardens have been installed and have served to demonstrate that the DIS work effectively. Visitors of LVIA and the primary school in Soun, where the test-gardens are installed, can see the DIS in action. This has resulted in notable interest in the systems and inquiries in where they can be obtained and how they work. However, in the context of the Greening Plastic Project, no farmer-trainings have been organized yet, because the DIS are not yet available for sale in large quantities (see point 1). We expect that the farmer-trainings will be organized as soon as the quality problems have been resolved and preferably at the beginning of the dry season (November 2017).
3. Passive Samplers have been installed in the test-gardens, but they have not yet been retrieved and therefore no data on the safety of the DIS is available yet. For this reason, it was also too early to really organize large-scale campaigns for informing institutes in Senegal on passive sampling and the project outcomes. We expect the first passive samplers to be brought to Utrecht at the end of October, after which the first analyses will be done at the Biogeochemical Laboratory of Deltares. First contacts with institutes with a possible interest in Passive Sampling have been made, including a first presentation at a meeting of Resources – a network of local waste managers at Thiès, Senegal.
4. Passive Samplers have now been applied to soil and water monitoring in Senegal (see point 3); CERES LOCUSTOX and the Directrice de l’Environnement et des Etablissements Classés (DEEC) have expressed interest in exploring further how passive samples can contribute to environmental quality and waste management in Senegal. We will pursue how this can be achieved with them.
5. As the first passive samplers have not yet been analysed (See point 3), there are no results yet with respect to the safety of the DIS. First tests in saline water and under intense UV light do show however, that the partially recycled DIS from DMS do seem to ‘lose more of something’ than commercially available DIS. We do not know however, what this ‘something’ is, and cannot analyse this within the budget of this project. Therefore, we wait anxiously for the first passive samplers to return to the laboratory for analyses, after which we hope to be able to say a bit more on the safety of DMS’s DIS. The passive samplers will be brought to Deltares at the end of August.