Since we hosted our first guests in 1990 we have the only major hotel on the Island welcoming people from all over the world, we have created many jobs, assisted communities and families and become firmly integrated in Island life building schools and clinics in various villages. We believe that it is our duty and responsibility to preserve the heritage of the community as well as being a driving force for positive change. We now wish to take this train of thought further by establishing truly sustainable development which will empower the community and allow them to progress independently without relying wholly on outside funds or influence.
Traditionally the people of the Island are fishermen, they fish for ‘omena’ sardines at night using lights to lure the fish into their nets. This is a dangerous occupation and also produces a lot of wasted by-catch such as juvenile Nile Perch. Tilapia are also netted in great numbers close to the shoreline and the practices have become unsustainable with fish stocks seeing big reductions over the past few years. There is a minimal amount of subsistence farming carried out on the Island using the destructive slash and burn method which has rendered great swathes of the landscape barren and susceptible to desertification. To this end our aim is to initiate a change in mindset on an island wide scale. We want the islanders to prosper with work, food and nutritional security. We have trained two head members of staff as Permaculture design instructors. Beginning with our own carbon footprint we have totally revamped our waste water management, kitchen waste recycling and plastic recycling with the aim to produce 80 percent of all our own food by the end of 2017. This garden has become a show case and training centre for the local community with regular workshops held on building low emission and low consumption wood burners, eco friendly building techniques and encouraging sustainable agriculture, fish farming and aquaponics. Within five years we want to have spread the message entirely across the island and have various community run farms from which to buy all of our camp produce. Already we have implemented a project at a local primary school with astounding success. We have found that through a connection with nature some of the children struggling academically have thrived and the community as a whole has rallied around the idea of sustainability raising funds amongst themselves to fence the school and donate seedlings.
To learn more about permaculture we invite you to look up the works of Geoff Lawson and the founder of this international movement, Bill Mollison who said ‘Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.’