Thursday, July 2, 2015

Picture update...

     Harrison Kipamina is a friend of mine who resides in my village. He is a carpenter by trade and uses traditional methods of felling trees (indigenous) and cutting them for lumber.

     Because of this Harrison is very knowledgeable about trees found in northwest Zambia and knows their many uses as well as how some are used in traditional medicine. His mother was a traditional healer and he was taught by his mother about many of the traditional medicines obtained from trees and plants.

     I could read books on traditional medicines derived by plants, but the information Harrison provides is first-hand. For me to learn about this fascinating subject by a person who is Kaonde by tribe and has been handed down this valuable information that most likely has been used for thousands of years is something I feel a need to document. 

     A warm and friendly man who cuts his own lumber to make beds and chairs for his community; I am very fortunate to know him.

Winter in Zambia. 

Mutobankuso, Oldfieldia dactylophylla

     Mutobankuso is a tree that is found in my area. The root is sought after for use as a traditional medicine to help with intestinal issues.

     The root is dug up, but the tree is left intact. The bark is peeled, and then pounded into a powder. A small amount of the powder is molded in a ball of nshima and ingested to relieve stomach upset.

     The bark of the root is used for kapokota,  a disease which usually inflicts children when they’re intestines are infested with worms. The worms will irritate the anus and cause this disease.

    The bark is peeled from the root and pounded and then mixed with water and used as a suppository injected into the anus with a syringe. 

Pigeon Pea 

     Pigeon pea is a fast growing, short-lived (5-8years) exotic legume tree from Asia. I am promoting this tree in northwest province because it produces food year round, improves soil, excellent bee forage, easy to grow, and produces hot-burning firewood. I planted several trees at my site as shown above and I have not found any other tree that offers so much. 

     I had seven four-week old puppies brought to me a few days ago because the mother had died. All pups are very healthy. I have no other choice but to raise them and find good homes for them. There is one I may keep. One of the objectives to keeping the puppies is to show villagers, especially kids, how to handle and treat dogs humanely.

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