Calls to replicate project after UN award win

A project which enables thousands of families living on the front line of climate change overcome poverty and malnutrition should be scaled up, according to Practical Action’s director in Bangladesh.

The sandbar cropping project was supported by the UK public in 2015 when the UK Government doubled all donations to the Pumpkins Against Poverty Appeal.

Since then, it has been so successful that it has won a number of awards for its ingenious and innovative approach.

The project has improved the lives of 50,000 landless people in Bangladesh, using a technique called sandbar cropping that allows pumpkins to be grown on sandy, barren soil left behind when flood waters recede.

Training people in new skills means that people can grow up to 600 pumpkins a year and the extra income can be used to send their children to school, buy livestock and become more resilient to the climate.

Practical Action launched a three month fundraising appeal in 2015 for the project which was matched pound for pound by the UK Government, raising over £1 million.

Representatives from Practical Action’s Bangladesh office have accepted the award from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome this week.

Hasin Jahan, Director of Practical Action Bangladesh said: “On the back of this award and the huge success of the project, we are calling on others to scale up this ingenious solution to bring about wider change across Bangladesh. We’ve proved that this works and changes people’s lives for good and it really highlights the power of Practical Action’s approach.”

Paul Smith-Lomas, CEO of Practical Action added: “We’d like to thank everyone that made a donation to this project.  It allowed us to scale up an initial idea to show how it could work on an even bigger scale - it’s amazing to see what can be achieved by a little clever thinking. The difference it has made to the communities we work with has been astounding and we can’t wait to see the wider impact it will have across the country.” 

Practical Action is a global innovator, inspiring people to discover and adopt ingenious, practical ways to free themselves from poverty and disadvantage. Alongside its publishing and consulting staff, it works with people in countries across Africa, South East Asia and Latin America to help them lift themselves out of poverty.

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For all media enquiries, please contact Andy Heath or Abbie Wells, Practical Action Press & Media Officers.

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UK office: + 44 (0) 1926 634 552
Mobile: +44 (0) 7714 205342

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