Tag Archives: anam city

World Malaria Day 2012: How we will eradicate Malaria in Anam

25 Apr


World Malaria Day is organized by the World Health Organization to recognize global efforts to address malaria worldwide. In concert with international efforts, today the Anam community is proud to launch the ANAM MALARIA INITIATIVE, a campaign aimed at eradicating malaria in the region of Anam.  As the first step in a community health strategy, we plan to achieve this by focusing resources on pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and the elderly.  Set in the context of the sustainable new town development Anam City  we will apply a hybridized approach to all health care.   The health center is more than a hospital – and aims at fostering a completely healthy town or in the Igbo “onye orun di” through high quality livability, integration of traditional methods, and focus on environment and nutrition.

Watch the video above where Chife Foundation Fellows, Linus Ifeanyi Nnewke and Anthony Nnalue launch the program!

Stay tuned for updates from our World Malaria Day event Sunday April 29 at Ebenebe which will include local performances (theater, dance, music) and refreshments.  The program (which will distribute medications, treated nets, and vector control to Ebenebe families) is developed in partnership with the Anam Community, Chife Foundation, and High Noon Rotary Club.

More information about World Malaria Day can be found with the following organizations’ websites:

Roll Back Malaria

World Health Organization (WHO)

Malaria Consortium

Roll Back Malaria World Malaria Day 2009

Anam City presents in Casablanca at African Perspectives Conference

10 Nov

Recognized as an emerging model for urbanism in Africa, the Anam City project presented at the 2011 African Perspectives conference, a prominent symposium that brings together top academic and professionals engaged in design and architectural work around the continent. The conference, organized by ArchiAfrika out of the Netherlands was held from November 3-7th, 2011 in Casablanca, Morocco.  This year’s main theme was the ‘The African Metropolis’, offering the challenging topic of urban growth in Africa.  Keynote speaker, sociologist Saskia Sassen kicked off the event by discussing the importance of technology in the city and ways that the urban metropolis and its residents can communicate.    Other speakers from around the world presented on subtopics including:

  • African urbanity: informal/formal
  • From landscape of industrial production to productive cultural cityscape, and
  • The periphery of the African metropolis

The Anam City project was very well received and the Chife Foundation team was able to connect with other practitioners and researchers who are developing other concepts compatible with our interest in sustainability in the African city.   African architect, Joe Osae-Addo in particular lauded the Anam City Project as an example of using design to stimulate social entrepreneurship.

The next conference will be held in 2013 in Nigeria.  The Chife Foundation plans to participate and will bring updates on the construction of Anam City.  We will have a lot to show off in two years!

Saskia Sassen opened the conference on the African Metropolis

Shaping Future Market Models for Anam City

2 Aug

Yam market study

It is well known that major cities and empires have developed around market crossroads. Anam City is a powerful future junction for the establishment of a regional market of unique agricultural and livestock produce. It therefore has the potential to help reduce current food imports in a resource-full country like Nigeria.

Anam has long been known as the “food basket of Anambra State.” This fertile land is a major producer of yam, cassava and fish. These and other goods are cultivated here and later sold in major local markets like Mmiata and Otuocha. Such activities involve more than 50 percent of Anam’s current population in the farming and trading sectors. However, the Anam community suffers several problems making full use of its resources. This blog post will discuss a few of them (lack of storage technology, information gaps and energy shortages) with efficiency as the underlying issue at the root of all these problems.The creation of a new market model could offer innovative and visionary solutions to help the Anam people.

Storage is a critical topic when discussing markets. Here in Anam, farmers store their harvest using traditional methods such as yam barns or oba in Igbo. These structures are wisely designed half a meter above ground and under palm fronds in order to avoid yams being spoiled by floods, heat or sun.

Obas are positioned half a meter above ground level by flood stilts and are covered by palm fronds

Despite its ingenuity, obas do not allow yams to be preserved for more than three months. This major constraint forces Anam farmers to sell their harvest at a very specific time of the year. Local markets are then flooded by farm goods which are sold at low prices due to increased competition. As a consequence, when the harvest season is over, most impoverished households suffer from low incomes and lack of alternative livelihoods. Offering improved storage facilities would therefore boost farmers’ ability to control market forces. It could help households improve their food supply during the planting season, increasing health and nutrition patterns. As well, this would also reduce the need for loans at a very high interest rate.

Lack of access to information is another major market failure that undermines Anam’s socioeconomic potential. Anam people have therefore massively entered the mobile phone industry to improve communication.

Family with mobile phone on the tree

In this respect, mobile phone practices are changing the patterns of information transmission in Anam and are also being incorporated in commercial and financial practices to avoid theft and promote fruitful economic transactions. Cell phone businesses are proliferating in many small rural towns in Anam, such as Iyora and Aboegbu, and are a source of entrepreneurship among farmers. For all these reasons, the new Anam City project is striving to position itself ahead of the curve, exploring diverse possibilities to access information, promote technological literacy and increase livelihood opportunities by introducing mobile phone technology to a wider audience. For more interesting reading on the topic of Africa’s emerging mobile technology and Nigeria specifically, check out the final chapter in Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles by Richard Dowden.

However, a reliable source of energy is crucial to promote the use of this mobile technology. Currently, Anam suffers electricity shortages and almost all Anamites are petrol- and kerosene-dependent. Both the noise and air pollution caused by generators leaves this community with a degraded environment and decreased comfort levels. The Anam City project is therefore considering integrating solar panels into the design of future kiosks in the marketplace. In a first phase, these kiosks would provide mobile recharging facilities and in subsequent phases could expand to allow access to PCs and the internet. Solar-powered kiosks could also promote efficient financial transactions through a mobile money system, and they could become a source of entrepreneurial activity to diversify household income. This will free entrepreneurs from the cost of diesel and the inconveniences of generators (see the graph below).

Inputs and outputs for a typical Anam farmer

In the long run, once internet access is secured, the introduction of smartphones could also be explored as a means to expand access to information crucial to farm businesses: market price fluctuations, weather forecasts, up-to-date farming technology, increased farm planning processes, etc. Altogether, these could lead to the development of future research labs for farmers’ smartphone applications that could add value to the growing economy of the city.

In short, Anam is a resource-full land, but the community suffers several challenges. Storage inefficiency, information gaps and energy supply shortages are major market failures undermining Anam’s socioeconomic potential. The Anam City project is currently designing a new market model that will blend the traditional socioeconomic energy of Anam with innovative and forward-looking technological solutions to push the community further. This physical and social facility will allow Anam to capitalize on its cultural, social and commercial competitive advantages and will help link the city locally and globally.

A Story of an Anam Businesswoman

29 Jul

Nwanegbo Donatus Aniukwu is a student of Anambra State University Economics   Department. He is a fellow of the Chife Foundation. Donatus recently worked with two interns to interview Mrs. Grace Uduaka, a business lady near the Chife Foundation headquarters.

Chife Foundation Fellow, Donatus interviewing Grace Uduaka

Who is Mrs. Grace Uduaka?

She is a woman of her own, doing a business of her own.

A businesswoman near the Chife Foundation headquarters, she sells edible products like biscuits, bread, and cooked rice and beans. She purchases those items from Onitsha, which is the central market near Anam New City, and then she transports them to her small store near the project site and sells them for a small profit.

Grace started her business with the help of her husband who helped care for the welfare of their family of 10 people (eight children in addition to Grace and her husband). One of their children is married, another works in the nearby city of Asaba. Also, they have five children in school: one who has succeeded in pursuing tertiary education and is currently attending Oko Polytechnic Institution, a federal university in Nigeria); a second child in secondary school; and three children in primary school. Unfortunately, Grace’s last-born child cannot go to school due to the very far distance between her house and the school.

In Idemmili (in the southern part of Onitsha, Nigeria), Grace was trading yams and fish, but she left due to the conflict between Igbos and Fulanis, which took place in 1987-88. When we asked her about how life was in Idemmili, she smiled and commented, “I was making a lot of money.” Grace is a true businesswoman.

Then, due to the conflict and wishing to keep her family safe, she and her entire family moved to Ebenebe, where they started farming (mostly just for survival and subsistence). They also managed to make some profit from the crops harvested from her farm. In 2009, when the Chife Foundation began the Anam New City project and began employing workers at the site of the New City, Grace saw an opportunity for business. She knew that, while working, a person needs to eat for more energy. She started selling some things, such as drinks and food, to the workers at the site when the activities and building there began. Despite her income from this small business, she still cannot afford to live in an urban area (such as Onitsha) due to the higher expenses there, and that is why she lives in the farming settlement of Ebenebe – so that she provide for her family without owing money to anybody. She now sees Ebenebe as a profitable means of surviving because she is able to sell biscuits, bread, cooked rice and beans, cassava, and other edible items to community members.

Grace hopes that when the Anam New City project is well underway, she will have saved enough money to obtain a stall in the market in the New City, allowing her to sell her products directly from the new market place.

When we ended our discussion with Grace, we offered a hand shake which she accepted with a broad smile. She said that she will be the first among the pioneers to embrace the New City and that she is eager for Anam to become a respected trading center through the work of business people like herself .

Post by: Nwanegbo Donatus Aniukwu

Build a New City with Us! Internship Program 2011 Announced [VIDEO]

4 Feb

The Chife Foundation is excited to announce the 2nd year of our international internship program in sustainable development and design.  Since 2009, The Chife Foundation has been working with the community of Anam in Eastern Nigeria to plan and design Anam New City.  With the first overall planning and design phases complete, the project is moving forward into more specific design and infrastructure projects, as well as the initial implementation phases on site.  This settlement is envisioned to be exemplary in its approach to environmental, economic and social sustainability. Self-sufficiency, livability, maximized use of local resources and efficient design schemes are important objectives. The ultimate goal is to create a prototype for new (as well as existing) African cities, thereby creating a model for sustainable development on the continent.

Qualified graduate and undergraduate students from various disciplines are invited to apply.  Please visit the Chife Foundation website for more information about the New City Internship Program and the International Development Internship.  The application deadline is March 1, 2011.

In the video, Community Researcher Assistant, John Paul Anekwe talks about the first phases of the project which include agricultural seed operations, such as a fish farm and a poultry farm and how his community will be involved.

If you are using a slow internet connection, you can also watch the video in a lower resolution format on the Chife Foundation YouTube Channel.  Building A New City (Low Resolution)

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