Fundamental Needs is dedicated to serving communities in need. We therefore are open to new and innovative projects. If you feel we can help please feel free to reach out.
More than 2 million Americans live without basic access to safe drinking water and sanitation. 35.2 million Americans live in food-insecure households. 9.0 million adults lived in households with very low food security. 5.3 million children lived in food-insecure households in which children, along with adults, were food insecure. Imagine a life where water isn't just a turn of the faucet away and you struggled to even fill your child's stomach. For some people, this is a reality and it requires them to drive hours to refill containers every week and rely on gas stations as a primary source of food. With your help, Fundamental Needs will be part of the solution. Our systems will include a water tank, a solar-powered water pump, a water heater, and a greywater garden.
Schematic representation of water to greywater garden
Greywater filtration system
The greywater garden is represented schematically above. The water flows from the sink/shower into a wicking garden. Wicking gardens water plants from below rather than above. They're basically containers with water reservoirs at the base - like a giant self-watering pot. Moisture is drawn up through the soil via a process called capillary action or wicking. We use this type of process to conserve the water they have access to. Every drop counts. There are four alternatives to our greywater systems. 1. The whole system will be partially buried and made into earth-sheltered greenhouses. We will then use the two water tanks to help maintain a more stable temperature inside the greenhouse through passive solar heating. 2. The whole system is placed inside an above-ground greenhouse and also uses passive solar heating techniques. 3. We provide wicking gardens only for outside growing. 4. We direct the greywater to a couple of freshly planted trees. For this project specifically the plants grown in the gardens will focus on a traditional Navajo diet and other plants that are easily grown. Plants such as: ● CORN: Navajo Blue Corn, Navajo White corn, Navajo Yellow corn ● MELONS: Santo Domingo Pueblo casaba, Navajo heritage casabas, heritage musk melons, heritage honeydew, king and queen watermelons ● SQUASH: blue Hubbard, cushaw, banana squash ● CHILES: San Juan Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo There will also be a master grower that facilitates the education of how to grow and maintain these community gardens. While these gardens are placed at individual homes many people within the Rock Point area and Reservation live within compounds of multiple families. These gardens will become a source of hope for this community as well as provide a much-needed source of nutrition.
Primarilly used for starting seeds in early season unless a heat source is added to the design.
Rock Point Project
Above-ground greenhouse mock-up
Water system mock-up
Water system mock-up details
Surprisingly not all have access to electricity in the US. On the reservation, there are still numerous families that don't have this privilege. We aim to change that by providing access through solar panels and other green alternatives.
The selling of handcrafted goods has been a source of income for families for generations. However, with covid shutting down the local markets these families have been left out to dry. We want to help support these families by selling their goods on our site. This is a unique opportunity to help families and to help support our cause at the same time.
The Navajo reservation has been deeply affected by the loss of the coal plant in the Four Corners area. Due to this unfortunate situation, many have been left without a proper heat source for winter. We intend to change that; first by providing them with an immediate fix by delivering firewood and then by implementing a sustainable long-term solution to their heating needs. The solution will include a high-density fuel that is both sustainable and cost-effective.