After the PDC with Warren Brush I continued work with Evans Odula on making a permaculture design at Badilisha a reality. The vision is for a place of learning, promoting permaculture and traditional knowledge, a meeting place for the local community and international visitors to learn and draw inspiration from nature.  Drawing from the five different designs produced by the course we drew up a design aiming at incoroporating the following elements:


An office and resource centre with an inspirational library, computers for community to access and a seed bank.

An education hall and resource room to be used for trainings and workshops. The current iron sheet  (mabati) structure to be converted into a traditional mud building style, though keeping the iron sheet roofing to facilitate rainwater catchment. The iron sheets for the walls are planned to be used for the roofing of the new guest houses and guest kitchen.

A nursery for seedlings under the shade of indigenous trees.

A tool shed

A shop to sell produce from Badilisha and seeds from the seed garden

A kitchen for preparing food for workshops and the school feeding programme. The kitchen features several simple, fuel efficient rocket stoves made from clay, sand, cow dung and banana stalks and an outdoor clay oven.

Pit latrines converted into compost toilets with a humanure compost pile to feed the trees in the food forest.

Rabbit, chicken and quail houses, built just above the pond to feed nutrients into the acquaculture system.

Meditation tree and circle with cob seat, surrounded by flowers and aloe vera.

Two guest huts, guest kitchen and campsite, built in local Luo style with mud and cow dung. Roofs made of iron sheets for rainwater harvesting.

Water harvesting system including;

  • a total of six swales
  • catchment of water from the road by a trench feeding into the first swale
  • three banana circles for greywater harvesting
  • three large 5000L water tanks and three small 500L water tanks catching water from all buildings
  • a mudfish pond


A food forest with the following species:

Fruit trees: Avocado, papaya,mango, lemon, banana

Nitrogen fixers:  leucena, acacia,cow-pea, desmodium

Ground covers: sweet potatoes, cow pea and desmodium

Shrub layer: cassava and artemisia

Medicinal: neem, artemisia and moringa

Mulch plant: vetiver

A 9m diameter Mandala Garden for vegetables and herbs including

  • tomatoes
  • eggplant
  • peppers
  • spinach
  • spider plant
  • black night shade

A medicinal herb garden for demonstration and education with the following species:

  • Artemisia
  • Aloe Vera
  • Garlic
  • Vinca Rosea
  • Lemongrass
  • Papaya
  • Cassia Occidentalis
  • Cassia Alata
  • Kalanchoe Piñata
  • Tithonia Diversifolia
  • Ginger
  • Moringa Oleifera
  • Moringa Stenopetala
  • Phaseolus Vulgaris
  • Datura Stramonium
  • Amaranthus Gracilis
An indigenous food crops garden, serving also as a demonstration and education plot for the community and linked to workshops on the value of indigenous food crops,planting, harvesting and processing. The indigenous food crop area would include for example:
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Yams
  • Amaranthus blitum/ Michicha
  • Amaranthus hybridus/ Michicha
  • Asystasia Gangetica/ Atipa
  • Asystasia Mysorensis/ Atipa
  • Basella Alba/ Ndemra
  • and many more!
At the bottom of the land we have planned a zone 5 of wilderness with a variety of indigenous trees, wild flowers, bees and bee hives. We have listed the following trees for this area, all local trees that used to cover the hills of Rusinga before deforestation hit:
  •  Ochol
  • Kang’o
  • Sang’la
  • Pedo
  • Powo
  • Otati

The map of Badilisha

Badilisha design process- MARCH 11-APRIL 11

From bare and dry to slowly turning green through the implementation of a food forest, a mandala garden, several swales and banana circles. 

View of the office before the installation of Mandala garden

The new Mandala garden

View of Badilisha March 2011

View of Badilisha- March 2011

Mulching the mandala garden-Apr 11

The new food forest slowly establishing itself-Apr 11

Trench feeding water from road into system of swales-Apr 11

Swale planted with sweet potato and desmodium


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