In early 2014, Singapore International Foundation (SIF) planned to build upon their Water For Life (WFL) programme by implementing a parallel composting programme. However, it lacked the relevant expertise, and needed to rapidly acquire the knowledge and experience necessary for a feasibility study.
Kainosis™ was brought onboard as specialist consultants. After assessing SIF’s needs, goals and objectives, Kainosis™ prepared an initial proposal addressing the full agricultural value chain (not just composting). This was to enable long-term sustainability and viability of the new programme, while adapting to the broader goals of WFL.
SIF approved the proposal, kickstarting the five-day feasibility study in one of its targeted areas, Kampong Speu—a remote township located an hour’s drive west of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Through numerous observations onsite, in-depth interviews, and daily face-to-face interactions with locals, NGO and key personnel, Kainosis™ verified the root issue of soil infertility and the need for composting.
However, Kainosis™ found a larger concern. Systemic poverty—driven by poor agricultural performance in a largely agrarian economy—had led to continued degradation of farmland . It worsened to a point where fertilisers were no longer able to support healthy crop growth.
Kainosis™ promptly addressed the pressing concern by making sure that the proposed composting programme would enable villagers to make a consistent living from it. The programme had to be more than just recycling wastes into fertiliser; it had to address very immediate and primary needs in a safe, reliable, and economically-viable way.
Kainosis™ proceeded to assess the social, cultural and economic aspects of a possible village-scale composting programme. For example, one of the actions that Kainosis™ undertook was to design questionnaires for the local NGO staff in Sao Sary Foundation. Their input provided valuable insight to the region’s social and cultural aspects, such as the locals’ degree of receptiveness towards new ideas.
All acquired information and data from the feasibility study were documented in a final proposal to SIF, along with an extensive 3 to 5-year operational and communications plan for the composting programme. These were put together with the villagers’ unique lifestyle and behavioural attributes in mind, along with the goal of ensuring effective long-term results—economically, socially and climatically.
Overall, SIF achieved its initial objective—to expeditiously gain a comprehensive understanding of various factors involved in a composting programme relevant to its targeted WFL regions.