The Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation commits to scaling up the Anam City model of sustainable development by making affordable green housing, off-grid infrastructure, and skills training accessible to 1,000 Nigerians over the next four years through integrated and sustainable designs. The Foundation's model, now under construction in Anambra State, Nigeria, packages a holistic system of technologies that can help African communities improve quality of life with integrated and planned approaches to housing, renewable energy, water systems, green infrastructure, education, and health care.
The Foundation's approach is to first develop key seed projects (earth brick factory, ecological fish farm, school, hospital, community bank) employing and training local workers, and then scale the project up based on a proven context for success. Area children currently do not have teachers year-round, and receive low-quality education. The current design for the Anam School includes 20 classrooms, and at an estimated classroom size of 25 students per class, the school will educate around 500 students. The school initiative includes an integrated lunch program intended to enhance health and nutrition. The Anam Health Centre aims to enroll 100 new patients each month of operation, or approximately 5,000 people in 4 years.
The commitment methodology is three-fold:
1. Prototype: Turning knowledge to action, the Foundation will realize designs for housing, a health clinic, and school that incorporate low-cost, low-impact technologies including compressed-stabilized earth blocks, local materials, and climate-appropriate design interventions.
2. Access: Integrated into the architectural designs, the Foundation will apply off-grid infrastructure systems for water (rainwater catchment, water filtration, storm water and wastewater management), energy (solar electricity and hot water), and sanitation (biogas generation).
3. Mobilize: Educating a new generation of Africans, the commitment will carry out training in the community, emphasizing opportunity for women through apprenticeships (construction trades including carpentry, masonry) and technological training workshops (block-making, solar installation, water and sanitation systems maintenance, entrepreneurship). All educational and employment programs will target 25 percent female enrollment.
Additionally, the Foundation further commits to:
1. Women's education, employment and skills training: requirement that seed projects in Anam City should employ and train a minimum of 25% women.
2. Women's access to health: the Foundation has targeted its efforts first and foremost at enhancing maternal and child health programs in order to offer early medical protection. With 40 percent of the Nigerian population under the age of five, it is imperative that the country protect mothers and youths in order to ensure the strength of future generations.
3. Affordable housing: Mortgaging programs are under development to enhance women's access to land and housing ownership.
The Chife Foundation commits to building a target of 100 affordable off-grid houses, a health clinic, and school aiming to provide housing, education and health care for 1,000 Nigerians over the four-year commitment period. The following outlines the specific annual goals embodied by the commitment and phased to achieve the overall target.
In Year 1, 20 affordable, off-grid houses, a community health center (including maternity services), and an elementary school will be built, deliverable December 31, 2013. By the end of Year 2, 20 additional houses will be built, as well as a school expansion, including vocational training and continuing education, deliverable December 31, 2014. During Year 3, 30 more houses will be built, deliverable December 31, 2015. Finally, an additional 30 houses will be built during Year 4, deliverable December 31, 2016.
The urbanization of Africa in recent years has triggered new pressures on the environment and society, exposing existing resources, economic systems, and communities to unprecedented stresses. In Nigeria, these urban environments are defined by severe congestion, overcrowding, and highly unsanitary conditions. And in spite of the nation's wealth, most Nigerians lack access to basic services including clean running water, electricity, and health care, while widespread poverty and a deficient educational system have left a largely youthful population without opportunity.
With these challenges in mind, the Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation has partnered with the Anam community to design, implement, and evaluate a reproducible model for sustainable development in Africa. Starting in 2008, the Chife Foundation and Anam community began a planning process for the design of a 'new town' called Anam New City that can ensure a better future for their families and support their livelihood as farmers. Four years of participatory planning (data collection, mapping, community meetings, and design charrettes) have defined the following goals:
1. Development of seed projects (includes housing, brick factory, fish farm, school, hospital, community bank);
2. Provision of basic off-grid services (solar electricity, biogas sanitation, clean drinking water);
3. Creation of skilled and semi-skilled jobs;
4. Preservation of natural resources including farmland, forest and water supply;
5. Design of green infrastructures that mitigate flooding and erosion, manage stormwater, and restore habitats;
6. Integration of local materials to ensure self-sufficiency and affordable construction.
The Foundation, established by Dr. Aloy Chife, a former Director for Apple Computers and current CEO of Kutana Corporation, and his wife, Gesare, who holds over ten years of healthcare management experience, has long maintained a focus on improving both education and technology in Africa. The Anam project as a whole has also brought together interdisciplinary teams of specialists from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Spain, the UK, and the United States to collaborate with an array of community stakeholders.
The Chife Foundation and Anam City project has consistently supported women's access to education. For the last 10 years, the Foundation has given university scholarships to Nigerian youth, ensuring that at least 30% are young women.
Today, the Foundation has completed and is operating the first phase of the seed projects: an earth brick factory (CSEB), an ecological fish farm, a yam preservation facility, and a training & apprenticeship program. The Anam Brick Factory currently requires that 25% of trained staff be women, a rare statistic in an industry dominated by men.