Questions&Answers

Dear Sustainche Farm™ community members, thank you so much for your demonstrated enthusiasm so far by submitting your questions. We hope that our answers helped to provide a more and more comprehensive picture on what Sustainche Farm™ in Northern Namibia is all about :-)

We used this Qs&As section of the Sustainche Farm™ Forum website to comprehensively aggregate ALL your questions and our answers on one glance during July and August 2011.

For July 2011 Questions&Answers enjoy exploring the Qs&As July Archive !
For August 2011 Questions&Answers enjoy exploring the Qs&As August Archive or follow below !

Since September 2011 the discussion is shifted to the more sophisticated Mingle Forum tool.

Enjoy following our discussion and debate with us in the Sustainche Farm Tree Forum ! :-)

12 Responses to Questions&Answers

  1. ManfredcheII says:

    Hello Sustainche,

    I’m back again and have some more questions.
    I think that the first son is married and he will succeed the farm, but will he live and work on the farm definitively? Perhaps another child is more interested?
    Another basic question is: where are the toilettes and where can they wash their clothes and themselves?
    They surely have water – only at one place – and electricity?

    For now is enough to ask.

    Good wishes
    Manfredche II and his friends

    • Sustainche says:

      Hello Manfredche II and friends !
      Thanks for your again very interesting and practical questions :-)

      1. I think that the first son is married and he will succeed the farm, but will he live and work on the farm definitively? Perhaps another child is more interested?
      We might think so that the oldest son shall be the successor of the farm. This is indeed common practise in Germany. However, the Owambo tradition gives the youngest son the farm of the parents, and when thinking about it, this really makes sense. The oldest son while being married and working in Windhoek is currently starting his own farm in the same village near to Sustainche Farm.

      2. Where are the toilettes and where can they wash their clothes and themselves?
      Water is a very precious natural resource in Northern Namibia and Owambo have traditionally learned to utilize water in the highest efficient manner we can imagine. Here you will not find any wasting of water !
      Indeed, there is only one central water tap in the farm house. The central water supply can be extended to other place in the farm house with a horse pipe (there is a picture available in the Farm House album). Outside of each and every bedroom there is an enclosed place for daily personal hygiene. Clothes are washed by hand. The toilet is located outside the house as you may find it today on some farms in mountainous Bavaria as well.

      3. Electricity?
      As mentioned with the Basic Facts http://www.sustainche-farm.org/challenges/ Sustainche Farm is not connected to the Namibian electricity network. However, minimum electricity supply for some light bulbs and TV is secured by one photo voltaic solar panel. During the day the solar energy is accumulated in a battery. We’ll show you a picture of the solar panel in the Farm House album soon !

      Thus, both water & electricity are very precise goods on Sustainche Farm, and we encourage all community members to consider and debate how to improve this situation, which in particular refers to the utilization of renewable energies !

      This is our reply for now :-)
      Warm regards from Northern Namibia, Sustainche, Lisa & the Sustainche Farm family

  2. ManfredcheII says:

    Hello Sustainche,

    I just saw the all the (new) pics under “Farm House Pics”. Thank you, now I can imagine how the family lives. This is great.

    All the best from Germany for you and the whole Farm Family,
    Manfredche II

    • Sustainche says:

      Hello Manfredche II & Friends in Germany,

      We see that you’re back online again – great !
      Thanks for your compliments :-) But this is only the beginning. There are more pics to come 😉
      We just plan a new album called ‘Farm Pics’ which will provide more pics on Sustainche Farm in large.
      In the meantime, enjoy reading the new post: Sustainche Farm™ products: The ‘Mahangu’ Episode, Part I … just freshly uploaded :-)

      Warm regards from Northern Namibia, Sustainche, Lisa & the Sustainche Farm family

  3. Lovis says:

    Hi, this is another member. I just say hello to all. Talk to you later.

  4. ManfredcheII says:

    Hello Sustainche,

    Thanks for the answers concerning water and electricity.
    You can imagine, that for Europenas it is not easy to live with less water and electricity. I would also imagine that inhabitants living some times in towns with water and electricity don’t like to go back on the farm? On the other hand they see that solar panels are indeed a brilliant invention. Sun is one thing you have enough in Namibia. So you can have TV besides light.
    Do the family have a fridge or something similar?
    Mobile phones for example are also a practical invention for a country such as Namibia. Do you have internet access on the farm?

    Looking for your answers and have a good time wherever you are.

    Warm regards
    Manfredche II and his friends in Germany

    • Sustainche says:

      Hello Manfredche II and friends in Germany !

      Sustainche & Lisa would imagine that it is not easy for ANYONE to live with less water and electricity as being used to 😉 However, Sustainche & Lisa during the past more than one year made an interesting observation here in Namibia: Whatever has been experienced as ‘pleasant’ in the capital, Windhoek, young adults – let’s say at the age of 25+ – start returning to their Northern home areas. Some members of the Sustainche Farm community can tell you more ‘why’ 😉 One reason is for sure that life in general is much more pleasant here in Northern Rural Namibia :-)

      In any case (and whether that is in a town or in the rural communities): Water is a limiting living factor in Namibia, and this in particular refers to the availability of good drinking water quality due to the geological situation in the North.

      Namibia’s potential in terms of renewable energies and specifically for solar energy is not utilized at all. Unfortunately, Namibia’s Vision 2030 doesn’t provide any specific direction for utilizing solar energy. Never mind, this is a globalized world and the Sustainche Farm family, of course, knows that solar energy is THE solution when NamPower cannot provide electricity for the farm 😉 More investments in solar energy are for sure something to discuss among the Sustainche Farm community.

      For the time being, the available solar energy is not sufficient to run a fridge 24/7. Thus, Owambo traditionally found another solution for cooling (although not for freezing). In fact, and by looking around in their surrounding environment they discovered a mineral that is also used for the famous self-cooling beer keg technology (http://www.zeo-tech.de/index_en.html) :-)

      Yes, mobile phones are a MUST in Namibia and they also operate on Sustainche Farm !
      Internet access is still problematic, and although Sustainche Farm is located not too far away from the next town, the internet signal provided from there is not strong enough to reach the farm. However, Telecom Namibia currently undertakes major investments to spread the new VSAT broadband access with blazing speed: “Get connected, anywhere, anytime without the need for a physical line throughout Namibia.” Thank you Telecom Namibia ! :-)

      This is our reply for now :-)
      Warm regards from Northern Namibia and enjoy your weekend, Sustainche, Lisa & the Sustainche Farm family

  5. ManfredcheII says:

    Hello Sustainche,

    After reading the article: The Sustainche Farm Project “Mobilization Phase” launched! my question refers to the costs of the photovoltaic solar panels. I know that the farm has 1 (?) solar panel for electricity. What would be reasonable for the near future?

    Many greetings from Germany to all
    Manfredche II

    • Sustainche says:

      Hello Manfredche II,

      Thank you very much for your motivating question. Well, we don’t want to antedate the exciting discussion ahead on utilizing renewable energy and in particular solar energy on Sustainche Farm. It is indeed to first of all elaborate and discuss the actual need and purpose of electricity in order to facilitate a better quality of life.

      However and referring to the costs, we can give you the following example:
      A single 80-W solar panel usually can generate an average of 3.80 kWh of electricity per day in Northern Namibia. Attaining the same amount of electricity for one year and if supplied from the standard electric grid (as it is available for example in Villa Sustainche & Lisa) would cost around N$ 2,200 (Euro 215.52) – and the fee for electricity from the standard electric grid is steadily increasing 😉 A typical solar panel and battery combination in Namibia costs around N$ 4,700 (Euro 460,44), resulting in a pay off period of slightly more than two years.

      Yes, at the moment there is one photovoltaic solar panel installed at Sustainche Farm.

      We hope that our answer meets your question for the time being.
      Warm regards back from Northern Namibia to you and your friends in Germany,
      Sustainche & Lisa

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