Drought-prone areas of Kenya can leave primary and secondary school students with limited or no food to eat. The poverty in some villages is so intense that many students rely on the local school to provide them with a meal for the day. Due to limited funding, school food programs are often limited or eliminated altogether. The malnourishment resulting from the lack of quality food can have a profound effect on students, their physical performance, and their educational goals. It is the objective of The Invictus Initiative to help end malnutrition in schools.
This project will include building a system of food production that combines fish and plants called aquaponics. Our system works by effectively turning the nitrate-rich organic fertilizer produced by fish waste into food for nutrient-dense green plants. Once the plants absorb and filter the water, it is recirculated into the fish tank. The system is low-maintenance and has very minimal water loss. The size of such a system is limitless, and therefore we believe it may be a great solution in providing healthy and sustainable nutrient-dense green food to malnourished children and adults. An unknown form of food production for most Kenyans, our approach will combine local community support and ownership with locally available resources to construct a aquaponics system that will act as a pilot program. This pilot program will test the feasibility of our model, and if successful, we hope to gain further awareness and buy-in from neighboring schools and possible partners.
The Invictus Initiative has partnered with an all-girls school inside one of our rural Kenyan project villages. The faculty, students, and supporting staff have been educated about the system, its long-term benefits, and proper management and maintenance. The school has agreed to take ownership in the project by providing space, water, electricity, and labor in both the construction and maintenance of the aquaponics system. The system has been built and is functional. We are currently monitoring and evaluating the pilot program.